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One reason I don't really dip into a lot of these threads is because the subject of prose tends to be brought up and to be honest, I really don't know what the hell it is. Even with the wiki on it that Barid posted I really didn't know what exactly I was reading, haha. I'm a very blunt dude and maybe that's the reason Brandon's way of writing doesn't bug me, even though I really do love the way RJ's books are written. So if there's a way to explain prose in simpler terms for someone like myself, it'd be much appreciated.

 

I am with you. I spent two hours trying to find examples of prose and all I was able to find was ways to make your writing better which improves your prose.

 

I really enjoyed reading the words in The Wise Man's Fear but I didn't really like reading the words in The Way of Kings. I liked the story in The Way of Kings better than the story in The Wise Man's Fear.

 

Enjoyment of reading the words I guess is me enjoying that specific author's prose.

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One reason I don't really dip into a lot of these threads is because the subject of prose tends to be brought up and to be honest, I really don't know what the hell it is. Even with the wiki on it that Barid posted I really didn't know what exactly I was reading, haha. I'm a very blunt dude and maybe that's the reason Brandon's way of writing doesn't bug me, even though I really do love the way RJ's books are written. So if there's a way to explain prose in simpler terms for someone like myself, it'd be much appreciated.

 

I am with you. I spent two hours trying to find examples of prose and all I was able to find was ways to make your writing better which improves your prose.

 

I really enjoyed reading the words in The Wise Man's Fear but I didn't really like reading the words in The Way of Kings. I liked the story in The Way of Kings better than the story in The Wise Man's Fear.

 

Enjoyment of reading the words I guess is me enjoying that specific author's prose.

 

Just a few examples of solid prose from my favorite author, who is very different from RJ.

 

Cormac McCarthy "The Orchard Keeper"

 

Far down the blazing strip of concrete a small shapeless mass had emerged and was struggling toward him. It loomed steadily, weaving and grotesque like something seen through bad glass, gained briefly the form and solidity of a pickup truck, whipped past and receded into the same liquid shape by which it came.

 

Notice the economy of words and natural cadence. The figurative language is also fresh and vivid and doesn't reach too hard.

 

Here in the an example from "The Road" his prose is almost perfectly minimalist with incredible clarity.

 

On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.

 

& another that approaches poetry in how it sounds and the literary devices he uses.

 

When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he'd reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him. Nights dark beyond darkness and the days more gray each one than what had gone before. Like the onset of some cold glaucoma dimming away the world. His hand rose and fell softly with each precious breath. He pushed away the plastic tarpaulin and raised himself in the stinking robes and blankets and looked toward the east for any light but there was none. In the dream from which he'd wakened he had wandered in a cave where the child led him by the hand. Their light playing over the wet flowstone walls. Like pilgrims in a fable swallowed up and lost among the inward parts of some granitic beast. Deep stone flues where the water dripped and sang. Tolling in the silence the minutes of the earth and the hours and the days of it and the years without cease. Until they stood in a great stone room where lay a black and ancient lake. And on the far shore a creature that raised its dripping mouth from the rimstone pool and stared into the light with eyes dead white and sightless as the eggs of spiders. It swung its head low over the water as if to take the scent of what it could not see. Crouching there pale and naked and translucent, its alabaster bones cast up in shadow on the rocks behind it. Its bowels, its beating heart. The brain that pulsed in a dull glass bell. It swung its head from side to side and then gave out a low moan and turned and lurched away and loped soundlessly into the dark.
Edited by Suttree
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Thanks Suttree, I think I am learning something.

 

Now I see what would be defined as polished prose. The many facets of creative writing are a little more difficult to understand than I originally thought.

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Yeah, thanks man. I guess I understand it a little better now but honestly, that's definitely not something I'd be into reading. I mean, some of RJ's stuff sounds like a lesser form of that but of what you posted, the way it's written, I think I'd be confused reading a story that sounds like that. To me, and I'm not saying that's all it is, it just sounds like a bunch of pretty words. I think I can see how it appeals to some. If RJ has decent or solid prose as some here seem to suggest, then obviously I must enjoy it to an extent as l really like his books. But, yeah, I guess that's just not for me. Again though, thanks for the examples.

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Prose is simply a technical term for "writing that isn't poetry". Basically just words without adhering to a formula. Such as novels, newspaper articles, etc...

 

Polished Prose basically just means that the words flow easily. Unpolished prose would be jarring and blunt.

 

If a metaphor might help, think of it in terms of an ocean.

 

Polished prose flows, like an ocean on a calm day.

 

Unpolished prose is like waves in a storm, abrupt, awkward and jarring.

 

Thus, the difference between RJ and Brandon. Brandon tends to be blunt and jagged with his writing, which can sometimes feel awkward. RJ however, when you read what he wrote, it flowed, even the boring stuff, it flowed easily and naturally. It didn't seem forced, it just - was. Brandon's work, you can see where things have been forced and some things like Dreaming or Foreshadowing or Prophecy are very obvious. With RJ, he worked these things in so it was smooth and natural.

 

The best example of this is the scene where Rand channels on Domon's ship in EotW (before we know he can channel) and the mast is swung around. Reading that passage, it is so smooth and you wouldn't notice it unless pointed out or on a second read.

 

Compare this to say, Rand balefiring Graendal's palace. Things are explained bluntly and it is obvious what is happening as soon as the Gateway is opened, Rand literally explains it step by step like he is talking to the reader to explain, whereas the above RJ example is written in smoothly as just another part of the story.

 

 

Now this is just explaining the difference with prose. I am not saying he is a bad writer, nor am I saying he ruined everything. Just providing an example of the difference between RJ's prose, which are considerably smoother than Brandon, who admits it is a weakness he has.

 

 

Edit: draborn88. That is completely fine. A story is not solely defined by the quality of it's prose. Of course, all published (well most) authors have a cut off quality, but the best story with average prose may be infinitely more enjoyable than the best quality prose in a dead boring story.

 

Brandon's strengths I believe lie in his storytelling, his world building and creation, not the quality of his prose. I love WoK, it is a very good book, even if the prose are not as polished, I enjoyed it more than say, Feast for Crows GRRM, who's prose are infinitely better.

 

However, I guess you now understand what people are criticizing. Prose to some people is a more important quality than it is to others. Neither person is wrong, it is just a matter of taste with enjoyment.

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
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Prose is simply a technical term for "writing that isn't poetry". Basically just words without adhering to a formula. Such as novels, newspaper articles, etc...

 

Polished Prose basically just means that the words flow easily. Unpolished prose would be jarring and blunt.

 

If a metaphor might help, think of it in terms of an ocean.

 

Polished prose flows, like an ocean on a calm day.

 

Unpolished prose is like waves in a storm, abrupt, awkward and jarring.

 

Thus, the difference between RJ and Brandon. Brandon tends to be blunt and jagged with his writing, which can sometimes feel awkward. RJ however, when you read what he wrote, it flowed, even the boring stuff, it flowed easily and naturally. It didn't seem forced, it just - was. Brandon's work, you can see where things have been forced and some things like Dreaming or Foreshadowing or Prophecy are very obvious. With RJ, he worked these things in so it was smooth and natural.

 

The best example of this is the scene where Rand channels on Domon's ship in EotW (before we know he can channel) and the mast is swung around. Reading that passage, it is so smooth and you wouldn't notice it unless pointed out or on a second read.

 

Compare this to say, Rand balefiring Graendal's palace. Things are explained bluntly and it is obvious what is happening as soon as the Gateway is opened, Rand literally explains it step by step like he is talking to the reader to explain, whereas the above RJ example is written in smoothly as just another part of the story.

 

 

Now this is just explaining the difference with prose. I am not saying he is a bad writer, nor am I saying he ruined everything. Just providing an example of the difference between RJ's prose, which are considerably smoother than Brandon, who admits it is a weakness he has.

 

Big thanks for this Barid, your examples made it easier for me to understand and I have to say I agree with both. RJ's writing is smooth and with BS, it does at times seem like he's spelling some things out. Like I said though, I think a big part of the reason BS's writing doesn't bother me is because I'm blunt myslelf and sometimes I prefer things to be spelled out. Or maybe for the most part I just don't notice it, I don't know. Thanks for the help though..

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But, yeah, I guess that's just not for me. Again though, thanks for the examples.

 

Well if you do ever choose to give McCarthy a shot I would start with "The Road". It's really not that difficult to follow and won the Nobel Prize for literature. The story follows a father and son trying to survive(on multiple levels) in a post apocalyptic world. I think it appeals to fans of fantasy and sci-fi and is a great introduction to his work. You may have seen one of the movies based on his novels like "No Country for Old Men". IMO he is the greatest living American author.

Edited by Suttree
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But, yeah, I guess that's just not for me. Again though, thanks for the examples.

 

Well if you do ever choose to give McCarthy a shot I would start with "The Road". It's really not that difficult to follow and won the Nobel Prize for literature. The story follows a father and son trying to survive(on multiple levels) in a post apocalyptal world. I think it appeals to fans of fantasy and sci-fi and is a great introduction to his work. You may have seen one of the movies based on his novels like "No Country for Old Men". IMO he is the greatest living American author.

 

Yeah, I might look into him. I didn't read the book but the movie No Country for Old Men was awesome. I'm actually trying to get more into reading. All I used to read for a while was Harry Potter until I got into ASoIaF and then into WoT, which I can't get enough of.

 

But yeah, thanks guys, I won't derail the thread any further.

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But yeah, thanks guys, I won't derail the thread any further.

 

No, I think that you helped put a great many things into perspective for people. Instead of objections and protests, you simply asked for an explanation. I think more thinking like this (from everyone) would benefit this thread.

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But yeah, thanks guys, I won't derail the thread any further.

 

No, I think that you helped put a great many things into perspective for people. Instead of objections and protests, you simply asked for an explanation. I think more thinking like this (from everyone) would benefit this thread.

 

+1

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Okay, so I am going to give my 2 cent on Brandon's work.

 

I really like the guy. RJ's work really was horrible the last few books. I know that is blaspheming around these parts, but I seriously wasnt a fan of the pacing of his last few books. I feel as if Brandon breathed some much needed life into the stories. He is by no means perfect. No means. His prose and words can be a bit childish, and he doesnt do the right voices at times. But seriously? give the guy a break. He is giving us a conclusion to one of the biggest fantasy series ever. Have you ever tried to emulate another author's style and voice? it is near impossible. I think he has done a great job. And honestly? I am glad A memory of light wont be riddled with clothing choices and scenery and other things that have no meaning to the plot. Brandon cut that crap out of the stories. I like that.

 

He has plenty of flaws. But I like what he has done. I think we should take a step back and see the gift Brandon has given us before we start trashing him. He has done a very good thing. Yes he gets paid. But the main reason was he wanted to give us closure. and that is a gift that should make us all incredibly grateful. Look past your entitlement and see what he has done.

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I know that is blaspheming around these parts, but I seriously wasnt a fan of the pacing of his last few books.

 

If you are talking WH & CoT you might have a point but RJs last book was KoD. One that is equal in pace to TGS and ToM and had things pointed in the right direction. Further as has been stated many times it simply is where we are in the story arc. The set up an subtle foreshadowing is done and things are reaching their conclusion, that is why the pace has increased. We have no idea how Brandon will do with pace on a series like this until we see his own middle-late books in the Stormlight archive.

 

Have you ever tried to imitate an authors style and voice? it is near impossible. I think he has done a great job.

 

No I haven't and what is odd about your statement is Brandon never has done so either. He specifically said he was not going to try to imitate RJs voice and style as it could not be done.

 

He has plenty of flaws. But I like what he has done. I think we should take a step back and see the gift Brandon has given us before we start trashing him. He has done a very good thing. Yes he gets paid. But the main reason was he wanted to give us closure. and that is a gift that should make us all incredibly grateful. Look past your entitlement and see what he has done.

 

So people have to be entitled to critique a work of art? Errmmm yeah. You can count on one hand the number of people here who have "trashed him" and people are almost universally grateful for him finishing the series. He stepped up to the plate and took a big swing. For that he should be lauded.

 

Edit: one more thing, I have no idea where this odd notion is coming from that it is blasphemy to critique RJ's work or that somehow it never happened before. During that WH-CoT stretch there was an extremely vocal portion of the fan base pointing out the flaws. It was at least as prevalent as the critique of Brandon now.

Edited by Suttree
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This thread has gotten way more constructive, and I love the discussion that's going on now. I thought I'd throw in my own thoughts:

 

+1 On Brandon's prose being weaker than RJ's, though on this most recent reread, I've noticed (in earlier books EoTW especially) more jarring passages than I remembered on previous reads. That could be because I am just paying more attention, or because RJ wasn't perfect out of the gate - or more likely both. I do feel this more from BS however.

 

This leads to two other problems:

 

The first is that BS tends to tell rather than show a lot more than RJ did. This is why it feels blunt and of a lower quality. I personally think the way its done is more a stylistic difference than a matter of better or worse, GRRM is a fairly blunt writer as well - but writes better prose so its less obvious. This could be better, but I think this was a choice. Brandon's style is different than RJ's, and he decided he would execute the work better writing in his style rather than trying and (likely poorly) imitating RJ's style. I agree with this decision, RJ's style is not for everyone to start with - but to try an imitate the level of description RJ put in his work (especially with the multiple levels of context much of that description contains) would be excruciating to read if done poorly.

 

The second is that there are far fewer shades of meaning in BS' writing in WoT. This is what causes the books to feel 'flatter' on a reread (and not necessarily as flat on an initial read). There's less to discover on subsequent readings - fewer moments of foreshadowing, and fewer ways of interpreting a specific section of text. This I tend to give Brandon a lot of leeway for. I do this for two reasons, first because its not his story and it would take a huge amount of familiarity with very subtle portions of the planned text to be able to execute well. RJ had decades to understand where he wanted his characters to go, and the motivations and minor nuances behind their actions. BS, while a fan, couldn't have this level of familiarity with the subject matter, period. Not in decades could he know the characters as well as RJ did, if for no other reason than simply a matter of perspective of knowing where and (more specifically) how he wanted his characters and plot to end up. The second reason I give some leeway on this is because of the pace at which Harriet, the fans, and BS himself needed to accomplish this task. Even if it could be done (which I still say is not possible), it would have taken an author not only a significant (say 5 years) portion of time to become familiar with all the notes and to be able to get in the head of RJ to the right perspective to be able to construct events and foreshadowing the way RJ would have wanted, but also more time between books to make sure that each book has the appropriate amount of foreshadowing. I'd guess that to execute this to the level many fans would want this done, we would be looking at a 10 year period of time for these last 3 books. To ask an author to dedicate that kind of time to someone else's work, I imagine, would be too great a sacrifice.

 

So where I give BS the benefit of the doubt is not that he did the best he (theoretically) could have done. I've read better work by him (I have read the Way of Kings 5 times and its held up each time for me) and WoT is not his best work. But I believe that it is as good a job as anyone could do in the time frame that was required. I think Brandon was in the unique position to be able to do this, and has done an admirable job in his execution.

 

I wish that these books were finished by RJ. I am happy that anyone finished them at all. And given how bad they could have been done, I'm content with the skill at which they were completed. It could be better, they could have found an author who has a stronger focus on prose, but I believe that while there may be an author out there that could have done it, I doubt it could have been done in fewer than 10 years if it was to appease every one assuming someone was available to work on it immediately after RJs passing (not likely).

 

As far as continuity errors, and other problems, I tend to throw the fault on team Jordan and Harriet. They've had more time with the material, and should be flagging these things before they are printed. Yeah BS should have caught these as well, but I mean he has to write the thing while researching, while keeping everything in his head from notes partially completed by someone else. We as fans can spend as much time scrutinizing for every small mistake in a way that he can't since we simply have more time. There's gonna be some mistakes, and the point of the other editors and assistants is to catch a lot of that stuff. RJ himself made mistakes, although few, and it was his world!

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Prose is simply a technical term for "writing that isn't poetry". Basically just words without adhering to a formula. Such as novels, newspaper articles, etc...

 

Polished Prose basically just means that the words flow easily. Unpolished prose would be jarring and blunt.

 

If a metaphor might help, think of it in terms of an ocean.

 

Polished prose flows, like an ocean on a calm day.

 

Unpolished prose is like waves in a storm, abrupt, awkward and jarring.

 

Thus, the difference between RJ and Brandon. Brandon tends to be blunt and jagged with his writing, which can sometimes feel awkward. RJ however, when you read what he wrote, it flowed, even the boring stuff, it flowed easily and naturally. It didn't seem forced, it just - was. Brandon's work, you can see where things have been forced and some things like Dreaming or Foreshadowing or Prophecy are very obvious. With RJ, he worked these things in so it was smooth and natural.

 

The best example of this is the scene where Rand channels on Domon's ship in EotW (before we know he can channel) and the mast is swung around. Reading that passage, it is so smooth and you wouldn't notice it unless pointed out or on a second read.

 

Compare this to say, Rand balefiring Graendal's palace. Things are explained bluntly and it is obvious what is happening as soon as the Gateway is opened, Rand literally explains it step by step like he is talking to the reader to explain, whereas the above RJ example is written in smoothly as just another part of the story.

 

 

Now this is just explaining the difference with prose. I am not saying he is a bad writer, nor am I saying he ruined everything. Just providing an example of the difference between RJ's prose, which are considerably smoother than Brandon, who admits it is a weakness he has.

 

 

Edit: draborn88. That is completely fine. A story is not solely defined by the quality of it's prose. Of course, all published (well most) authors have a cut off quality, but the best story with average prose may be infinitely more enjoyable than the best quality prose in a dead boring story.

 

Brandon's strengths I believe lie in his storytelling, his world building and creation, not the quality of his prose. I love WoK, it is a very good book, even if the prose are not as polished, I enjoyed it more than say, Feast for Crows GRRM, who's prose are infinitely better.

 

However, I guess you now understand what people are criticizing. Prose to some people is a more important quality than it is to others. Neither person is wrong, it is just a matter of taste with enjoyment.

 

That is an excellent post. You and suttree have taught me more about prose in two posts than two hours of reading on dailywritingtips.com did.

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Let me ask another question. A few people have mentioned, and I am summarizing, that essentially BS did not perform to the level that BS could have pertaining to the WoT.

 

Is it possible for an author to come in and make someone elses work as good as his own?

 

If so, are there examples of one author finishing another's work in recent history?

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Let me ask another question. A few people have mentioned, and I am summarizing, that essentially BS did not perform to the level that BS could have pertaining to the WoT.

 

Is it possible for an author to come in and make someone elses work as good as his own?

 

If so, are there examples of one author finishing another's work in recent history?

 

I am not currently reading a series, or have read a book recently, where another author finished the work of a recently deceased author. However, I think you understand Suttree's point. Part of the disappointment with TGS and TOM is not that Brandon didn't make "someone elses work as good as his own[.]" After TOM, it appeared that Brandon wasn't writing to the level of his own best work (e.g. Way of Kings) for some posters. Yes, Brandon is working within a world that is not his own creation. However, some of the best portions of TGS and TOM read as if they were from his own imagination (I liked the thought behind Aviendha's trip through the rings.) Unfortunately, sections of poorer quality also read as if they come entirely from his own imagination (I thought Rand's answer in Veins of Gold was childhish and internally inconsistent, Mat is a caricature of RJ's character, etc.) By the way, I'm not entirely certain that the answer in VoG comes solely from Brandon. Like so many parts of TGS and TOM, I get the feeling that RJ set the scene in an outline and Brandon filled in that scene.

 

Personally, I think the aforementioned criticism misses the mark. It's not that Brandon isn't writing to his own level. He is and that is the problem. When you strip away his strengths (world-building, etc) his flaws as a writer are laid bare. He feels the need to explain plot points that are rather obvious from the way he wrote them. He challenges conventional fantasy tropes only to adopt other tropes that retard his work. And so on.

 

I'm reading AMoL in order to learn the ending RJ had in mind all those years ago. At this point, I'm elated that RJ wrote the ending himself. Sadly, I doubt I will read anything more than a preview of Sanderson's future works. He might change but I'll wait to purchase his books until he does.

 

Finally, one other thought: art can, and should, be judged. Various posters keep saying "good art is a matter of subjective taste." It is? Would you care to compare Yeats to your own poetry? How about R.L. Stein to Hemingway? Let's not confuse making a judgment with exercising in a subjective activity. Your poetry is not as good as Yeats (likely.) R.L. Stein is not as good of a writer as Hemingway, Arthur Miller, etc. Other posters seem to recognize this difference but still leave the discussion at "well, it's difficult to judge what qualifies as quality writing." Quality writing is both a function of the story being told and the technical construction of the piece. The quality of the former is more subjective as an appeal to experience, emotion, etc. Some stories are clever, others emotionally powerful, and yet others deeply upsetting. Technically good writing is far less subjective. Brandon's strengths lie in the former and not the latter.

Edited by ArveduiEreinion
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The further along I've gotten in my reread the more I'm coming to the conclusion that the majority of problems that people have with BS work comes down to a few factors

 

EDIT to add - this posted before I'd finished, not sure why

 

following not a spoiler, just a way of hiding some long drawn out thoughts that are more concisely explained at the bottom (without specific examples). Read at your own risk.

 

 

First is the quality of the prose - after what Suttree and Barid posted, I'm starting to have a better understanding of what they mean. Things that fall into this category include a lot of the problems with Mat (because as far as I can see the lack of subtlety falls partly into this and partly as its own category): First off his excessive plan making - this was started in CoT by RJ with his big escape with Vala Luca and continued by BS with the village where he went to meet Verin (or the person posting the fliers as he knew then) and evidently in Chapter 8 waiting to get into Ebou Dar. So the difference here is the lack of subtlety, not the abrupt change to Mats character.

 

Additionally there is a difference in understanding of characters. The way RJ wrote them allows them to be interpreted in several ways, BS interpreted them in one way and wrote them that way - this cuts out a lot of the alternative interpretations as a possibility. For example Cadsuane (hesitates) - Their are two scenes repeatedly brought up where he 'got her wrong' or played simply to 'fan gratification' - where Rand throws her out and Tam vs. Cads. The reason being (as I understand it) is that Cads is extremely adaptable,very intelligent and generally has several back-up plans. The problem is that I (and some others) see that Cads was failing with Rand and others seem not to. When they were first introduced Rand still listened to pretty much anyone who shouted at him - witness Merille and (?) after they came back from negotiating with the WF(think it was then). He got mad, they yelled, he listened. So during the time he was with Cads he got progressively worse. I'm not saying that she was wrong, that she had bad intentions, but that her stated aim of getting him to laugh and cry was failing. So he was getting worse - proving that her methods were failing. She comes into a situation (Rand, collar) after he'd essentially hit rock bottom (except not quite). For a while now the only reason she was still there was because Nyn and Min were convincing Rand that he needed her, he was looking for a reason to get rid of her, he found it. I like the way Rand was written, so I'm not as critical of the writing of Cads as others *shrugs - to each their own*. The second scene I can argue a bit better (I hope). At this stage Cads is desperate, in a way she won't have been for many many years. She's watching her current lifes ambition (not sure how long it's been a stated aim, but my understanding is that she's spent a good portion of her life preparing to be ready to deal with the DR if she was still alive at the time) going up in flames. She can see what he needs to do, but can't get it through to him. So she finds somebody that should be able to talk to him and tells him the words that Rand needs to hear. To me it's in character for her not to tell people information that she doesn't think they need to hear, so she's told him what Rand needs to hear, but skipped the part where Rand mistrusts AS so much, hence Tam goes off script because he doesn't know all the information. Comes back angry and confronts Cads. In normal circumstances she would never react the way she does - these aren't normal circumstances, the DR her current life's work has just been pushed over the cliff, she pushed him, she acts. So essentially BS is writing her as someone who can make mistakes - and as I said, I view the first not as Cads mistake, but as Rand's darkness. (Yes the whole T'averan bit is rubbish logic, but Rand frequently acts as if being T'averan can work in his favor - rebels at Cairhien, WF meeting... I don't see any difference in his stated words here and his actions then, am willing to debate this - ANd in response their is literally nothing that Cads could say that would change anything - she doesn't know about the TP at this stage, but she can't afford to get into any sort of real fight with Rand. So their's nothing she can say and nothing she can do, so she leaves and waits to take advantage of future situations). And fan gratification came into it, but for me it still works in story.

 

I think the scenes with Cads also work to highlight a difference in opinion of character and change in prose/lack of subtlety also work together.

 

Wow that last grew very long winded, but it's such a fiercely debated bone of contention that I thought it deserved some time.

 

 

The above could also be seen as a difference of opinion with culture. e.g. the Seanchan and the whole assassin plot. Again I think I give more leeway than others on this because it's a unprecedented event. Tuon is the last of the Royal Family, she's Empress without sitting on the Crystal Throne. I don't fully understand Galgans rank in the Seanchan, but he's ready to declare himself Emperor before Tuon turns up alive. Once given that thought I find it easier to believe that it's hard to forget. Additionally in CoT Karede mentions that he's been told to look specifically for signs of disloyalty in the High Blood as it's thought that distance from the continent could inspire them to carve their own Kingdoms - so it then becomes a matter of opinion whether or not this would extend as far as killing the Empress. BS views it one way (imo ties it in as a storyline with Avis walk through the pillars - if I'm right), many others view it another.

 

 

 

Third their are the details. The linking in Chapter 2 is a mistake. The use of Avi calling Rand Rand and not Rand Al Thor is established in the sister bonding scene (per RJ). Yes she calls him Rand Al Thor after that, but it seems reasonable to assume that she'll switch to calling him Rand once she feels his equal and it seems established that she will view that once she becomes a WO. - This sort of thing seems open to interpretation as well, whereas the linking isn't.

 

 

Finally their are structural problems. Part of this is caused by what people define as filler - the problem with this is that different people have different opinions as to what constitutes filler. Can't argue it in general, and I'm not sure what I'd propose instead.

 

 

 

 

 

So structure is the one big problem of which their is little defence - RJ recognised that this would be a problem, BS likely did as well (and even after all the posts that Peter has added I don't know enough about the writing process to know if this could have been fixed - if Tor would have been willing to give BS the extra time - regardless, structurewise tGS works pretty well, but ToM suffers hugely because of this).

 

Prose and interpretations of people/culture do seem to be a matter of opinion - as I've said when one person writes something it can be interpreted a number of ways, but if a second person then tries to write the same thing they cut out most of the original variations and introduce their own set of variations around it. Not sure if anyone else could have done this differently. If e.g. Luckers/Suttree/several others had written Cads, they'd have written somebody that I probably wouldn't have recognised. (EDIT edit: not saying they should, just names that have trouble with the way she's written)

 

Details - some are undeniably wrong, others are open to interpretation. But by the time people have waded through different prose, different interpretations of characters/cultures then every small mistake becomes an instant jar. But on this then I'd argue that BS and the beta readers have equal levels of responsibility - again I understand that their's been a fairly complicated process between the two.

 

 

 

 

 

But in response to Suttree saying that the Damona campaign is excellent writing (it is!) and helps lift an otherwise normal book, I'd put forward scenes like Avis trip through the pillars as excellent writing in an otherwise flawed book (it is flawed, even if I disagree with how much)

Edited by BFG
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At the end of the day even if Brandon had YEARS to do these books, it would still not be right, as he does not have RJ's attention to detail when it comes to this series, anymore than if RJ had to complete Brandon's books the result would be the same. However many mistakes Brandon has made, I do not think anyone else could have done better, while I think others could have definitely done worse. I am glad that the final book is almost upon us, and I am looking forward to having it in my collection, warts and all. I am just as glad that RJ's world and story will continue to evolve into many other forms, and think that based on volume one of the graphic novel, we have years to go yet of some brilliant adaptations to come.

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Not sure if anyone else could have done this differently. If e.g. Luckers/Suttree/several others had written Cads, they'd have written somebody that I probably wouldn't have recognised. (EDIT edit: not saying they should, just names that have trouble with the way she's written)

 

Well we hold to the version of Cads in RJ's notes and previous books. Brandon is up front that he doesn't like the character and has admitted he mau not have handled her fairly as a result. Not only was this scene out of character but it really was just lowest common denominator plotwork. The whole thing happened in a paragraph as if he was checking boxes off the outline(ie Cads and Tam have confrontation...check) and literally in one sentence she goes from calmly asking him a question to lashing out with the op.

 

Funny you should mention someone else writing it however as Luckers did just that in a different thread in which someone said they didn't think Cads would let Tam talk down to her in the way he did. Here is what he wrote...

 

"What happened?" Nynaeve demanded.

 

"He..." tam cut himself off harshly, turning his gaze to Cadsuane, "what did you do to my son?"

 

"What I had to."

 

The sound, of hand slapping skin, resounded through the room. tam had struck her hard enough that her head jerked around; golden ornaments, fishes and birds, stars and moons, swayed with the force of it.

 

"He is my son," tam rasped, his face starch-white, "do you understand? My son!"

 

"I understand," cadsuane replied. She drew a kerchief from her sleeve, and dabbed at her lip. Despite the livid red handprint, her face was a mask of Aes Sedai calm. "I understand."

 

Tam swayed like a puppet whose strings had been cut, staring down at the Aes Sedai, and then collapsed back into a chair behind him. The room rang of silence.

 

Finally Min forced herself to speak; "What now?"

 

"Now?" cadsuane asked. She had settled herself into a chair opposite Tam, and if before her face had been calm, now it was more stern than anything. "Now we wait to see if I have doomed the world."

 

Now I don't think there is anyone out there who would argue that this isn't RJ's Cads.

Edited by Suttree
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Not sure if anyone else could have done this differently. If e.g. Luckers/Suttree/several others had written Cads, they'd have written somebody that I probably wouldn't have recognised. (EDIT edit: not saying they should, just names that have trouble with the way she's written)

 

Well we hold to the version of Cads in RJ's notes and previous books. Brandon is up front that he doesn't like the character and has admitted he mau not have handled her fairly as a result. Not only was this scene out of character but it really was just lowest common denominator plotwork. The whole thing happened in a paragraph as if he was checking boxes off the outline(ie Cads and Tam have confrontation...check) and literally in one sentence she goes from calmly asking him a question to lashing out with the op.

 

Funny you should mention someone else writing it however as Luckers did just that in a different thread in which someone said they didn't think Cads would let Tam talk down to her in the way he did. Here is what he wrote...

 

"What happened?" Nynaeve demanded.

 

"He..." tam cut himself off harshly, turning his gaze to Cadsuane, "what did you do to my son?"

 

"What I had to."

 

The sound, of hand slapping skin, resounded through the room. tam had struck her hard enough that her head jerked around; golden ornaments, fishes and birds, stars and moons, swayed with the force of it.

 

"He is my son," tam rasped, his face starch-white, "do you understand? My son!"

 

"I understand," cadsuane replied. She drew a kerchief from her sleeve, and dabbed at her lip. Despite the livid red handprint, her face was a mask of Aes Sedai calm. "I understand."

 

Tam swayed like a puppet whose strings had been cut, staring down at the Aes Sedai, and then collapsed back into a chair behind him. The room rang of silence.

 

Finally Min forced herself to speak; "What now?"

 

"Now?" cadsuane asked. She had settled herself into a chair opposite Tam, and if before her face had been calm, now it was more stern than anything. "Now we wait to see if I have doomed the world."

 

Now I don't think there is anyone out there who would argue that this isn't RJ's Cads.

 

Thanks for that (Lucker's post) I've somehow managed to miss it - I can agree that that's Cads, but that's not Tam - bear in mind all the resistance that every man (particularly Rand) from the TR has with attacking females, even AS (although my argument about extreme circumstances can be used against Tam in this case as well as Cads in BSs). But that's not the point...

 

I can also argue that we've seen Cads lose her temper before - even tho it didn't result in her using the Power directly and it took a bit longer (before Far Madding with the Seafolk Wavemistress after the return of her Windfinder - sorry name blank). So we now have an RJ example of her losing her temper and taking rash actions (admitted as such by Cads afterwards). Also as I said it's an unprecedented (in books) event - her stated life aim for a good many years is crashing down, she loses her temper, since she's not been written as not having one, I think this is an allowable time for her to lose it.

 

The idea of bringing Tam in is correct, and eventually works.

 

I'm also not arguing that their's no fan gratification, or that it couldn't have been written differently - but I don't think 1 loss of control makes her less capable or adaptable. And in fact his quote backs up what I've said - different interpretations of a character (as another example he writes Faile a lot more sympathetically than I've viewed her under RJ since tSR), I'm also not trying to argue that his interpretation of Cads is necessarily correct (although I know that's how it sounds) I'm just trying to find in text evidence that it's not completely out of character.

 

The first instance as I said, I don't see that their is anything that Cads could say or do that would change what Rand did or felt, so again she did the logical thing and retreated, which allowed her to continue working from the background towards the future she wanted. In fact it proves how adaptable she is, that what must be endured can be endured.

 

The failing with Rand started under RJ and wasn't just BS. Again, it had little to do with Cads and a lot to do with Far Madding (a noticeable time when he 'worsened') and more to do with Rand than Cads - in another thread someone suggested that if Min hadn't told him that he needed Cads then she'd have adapted sooner, and that's entirely possible, although it's also possible that if Min hadn't said anything than he'd have ignored her (no doubt Cads would have found a way round it).

 

 

It's a difference of opinion, RJ says she's capable and adaptable, I don't agree that BS has written her otherwise.

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Not sure if anyone else could have done this differently. If e.g. Luckers/Suttree/several others had written Cads, they'd have written somebody that I probably wouldn't have recognised. (EDIT edit: not saying they should, just names that have trouble with the way she's written)

 

Well we hold to the version of Cads in RJ's notes and previous books. Brandon is up front that he doesn't like the character and has admitted he mau not have handled her fairly as a result. Not only was this scene out of character but it really was just lowest common denominator plotwork. The whole thing happened in a paragraph as if he was checking boxes off the outline(ie Cads and Tam have confrontation...check) and literally in one sentence she goes from calmly asking him a question to lashing out with the op.

 

Funny you should mention someone else writing it however as Luckers did just that in a different thread in which someone said they didn't think Cads would let Tam talk down to her in the way he did. Here is what he wrote...

 

"What happened?" Nynaeve demanded.

 

"He..." tam cut himself off harshly, turning his gaze to Cadsuane, "what did you do to my son?"

 

"What I had to."

 

The sound, of hand slapping skin, resounded through the room. tam had struck her hard enough that her head jerked around; golden ornaments, fishes and birds, stars and moons, swayed with the force of it.

 

"He is my son," tam rasped, his face starch-white, "do you understand? My son!"

 

"I understand," cadsuane replied. She drew a kerchief from her sleeve, and dabbed at her lip. Despite the livid red handprint, her face was a mask of Aes Sedai calm. "I understand."

 

Tam swayed like a puppet whose strings had been cut, staring down at the Aes Sedai, and then collapsed back into a chair behind him. The room rang of silence.

 

Finally Min forced herself to speak; "What now?"

 

"Now?" cadsuane asked. She had settled herself into a chair opposite Tam, and if before her face had been calm, now it was more stern than anything. "Now we wait to see if I have doomed the world."

 

Now I don't think there is anyone out there who would argue that this isn't RJ's Cads.

 

*Edit

I think that example was a very bad representation of Cadsuane

*

 

I think Brandon nailed Cadsuane perfectly in that sequence. I highly doubt Cadsuane would let Tam hit her. That in itself is not in her nature. She also responded to his incivility as she has with Rand in every other book. I doubt she'd change her attitude for a man who is her junior by many years. I also don't see her, at least in this point of the series, admitting that she may have doomed the world. She is not the type to question herself, especially around others. Her whole characterization is about control and power. She has demonstrated that from her first encounter with Rand. This scene captured her well IMO.

Edited by skalors3
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Now I don't think there is anyone out there who would argue that this isn't RJ's Cads.

I'd argue it. Cadsuane allowing a man to slap her? Not in a million years.

 

The whole "Sanderson admitted he doesn't like Cadsuane" is so overblown. So what? It doesn't mean he can't write her well and doesn't understand the character.

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No it doesn't.

Still, he writes Cadusane completely wrong and don't seem to understand her character.

 

edit: What I mean is that it's the other way around. It is apparent that he's writing Cadusane wrong, so we're trying to find out why.

Edited by csarmi
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No it doesn't.

Still, he writes Cadusane completely wrong and don't seem to understand her character.

 

edit: What I mean is that it's the other way around. It is apparent that he's writing Cadusane wrong, so we're trying to find out why.

 

Except that does seem to be a matter of opinion. BS doesn't like Cads and so writes her unsympathetically, but the big instance of Tam vs. Cads could equally be considered an example of blunt writing (that no-one seems to disagree with, even if different people care about it to different degrees) and her losing her temper (as she watches everything she's worked towards get shot down in flames, as she knows that it's her that pushed the worlds saviour over the edge of the cliff) - AND she has lost her temper before, in RJ writing. The aftermath of the first incident (vs Rand) goes to show how adaptable she is. I'm really struggling to see how BS has written her as so unadaptable or incapable.

 

 

I'd find Luckers version more believable if when Tam had gone to hit her Cads has wrapped him in flows of air - that would seem more in character (in agreement with David), but that's not the point.

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Now I don't think there is anyone out there who would argue that this isn't RJ's Cads.

I'd argue it. Cadsuane allowing a man to slap her? Not in a million years.

 

The whole "Sanderson admitted he doesn't like Cadsuane" is so overblown. So what? It doesn't mean he can't write her well and doesn't understand the character.

 

Actually if you are aware of the quotes you know there is a quite deal more to it which was my point. He admitted people thought he treated Cads unfairly and that they may have a point.

 

As for whether you would argue it, at this point, I think on the topic of Brandon's writing you have made that pretty clear. You will argue, even when you agree at times, you will still argue. :biggrin: Recall our shocked reactions when you actually came out against some of the pre release material.

 

@BFG

 

Leaving aside what I pointed out earlier about the plot work, one thing Cads has never been afraid to do is accept the truth. It is one of her biggest strengths. In the face of the accusations many people feel it likely she would have accepted his reprimands. Again she cartainly wouldn't have gone from calmly asking him a question to lashing out in one sentence. The scene allowed the fan gratification of seeing Cads get shut down carry the narrative.

 

 

She also responded to his incivility as she has with Rand in every other book. I doubt she'd change her attitude for a man who is her junior by many years.

 

I'm sorry but what? It most certainly is not in line and I think you need to go back and reexamine her motivations. She always has a very specific purpose and plan in mind. There is a reason to almost everyone of her actions. We see her respond in various ways when Rand acts the fool ranging from humor to reproach. Here is a good essay on her character if you want to check it out.

 

http://13depository....st-7-about.html

 

Lastly this scene fails to remember the one lesson she cites as being most important to her. Especially with the fate of the world on the line.

 

And she [Nynaeve] had not been put through the lessons that what must be endured, could be endured. In truth, Cadsuane sympathized with her. Somewhat. It as a lesson not everyone could learn in the Tower. She herself, full of pride in her new shawl and her own strength, had been taught by a near toothless wilder at a farm in the heart of the Black Hills.

 

Winter’s Heart, The Humming Bird’s Secret

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