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Luckers... Official on Brandon


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@skalors3

 

The women was very much being an emotional bully with her snorts and snide remarks(and Min was almost cowed by it). Fionwe's point is of course just a small part of the overall equation however. the main problem being the way the scene was written. It relies on fan gratification to carry the narrative. Lowest common denominator plot work, a rushed scene and an overly literal portrayal of "Cad's the bully" get brushed under the rug due to the catharsis of finally seeing her get her comeuppance.

Edited by Suttree
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@Suttree I think Cads sort of is a bully. I think most Aes Sedai are bullies. I'd need to see her actual POV to see if she was indeed out of character. I see her response as very realistic. The only evidence I can see that may actually dissuade me from this POV is her scene with Nynaeve in Far Madding. However, anyone can break. The difference between 5 minutes earlier and that moment was that she found out she failed, Rand fled, she is still banished and she is having some guy essentially calling her a jackass.

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I will admit that I find this thread more than a little bizarre. (I have never followed the Luckers vs. Ahlstrom saga so I have no dog in this fight).

 

As I see it, yes, some characters were poorly written by BS. This far overshadowed any problems in continuity which all but the most dedicated fans will miss anyway.

 

But for all that the ending trilogy is still an order of magnitude better than PoD-CoT. Regrettably but undeniably the series was fast spiraling into a skirt-twitching swamp under late RJ and its rescue is in large part thanks to BS, even if he did have to cut a lot of corners in the process. But by then I don't think even RJ could have fluently and elegantly untangled the mess he'd created.

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But for all that the ending trilogy is still an order of magnitude better than PoD-CoT. Regrettably but undeniably the series was fast spiraling into a skirt-twitching swamp under late RJ and its rescue is in large part thanks to BS, even if he did have to cut a lot of corners in the process. But by then I don't think even RJ could have fluently and elegantly untangled the mess he'd created.

 

I don't see how he created a mess that was difficult to untangle. And no one has ever really been able to explain what was so bad about TPOD other than the fact that Mat wasn't in it. I loved that book.

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I have to agree with Terez here. KoD ended with everybody pointed in the right direction, yes Rand had a way to go, as did Perrin in terms of character development, Eg and Mat still had some major 'stuff' to do, Mat still does, but their 'mid' story plotlines had ended.

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But for all that the ending trilogy is still an order of magnitude better than PoD-CoT. Regrettably but undeniably the series was fast spiraling into a skirt-twitching swamp under late RJ and its rescue is in large part thanks to BS, even if he did have to cut a lot of corners in the process. But by then I don't think even RJ could have fluently and elegantly untangled the mess he'd created.

 

I don't see how he created a mess that was difficult to untangle. And no one has ever really been able to explain what was so bad about TPOD other than the fact that Mat wasn't in it. I loved that book.

 

 

I've never had the disdain for the PoD-CoT series as much as others, and I don't think BS "rescued" the series from RJ's pacing, but I do think RJ got swamped under numerous plotlines. He never lost his way, but the feedback from the days of PoD seem to suggest many people thought he had. It was quite a tangle that took awhile to come undone. I think what's most frustrating about PoD is that the end of it kicks off two major character arcs (Perrin and Elayne) that are stretched out over the course of three more books, and these books cover a limited time period as well in which the main plot is held up by those two. The book also doesn't come to a satisfying conclusion for many people, and that's probably because it's only the first half of a story (the second being Winter's Heart).

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I have to agree with Terez here. KoD ended with everybody pointed in the right direction, yes Rand had a way to go, as did Perrin in terms of character development, Eg and Mat still had some major 'stuff' to do, Mat still does, but their 'mid' story plotlines had ended.

I have no idea how any one could attempt to make the case that things weren't heading in the right direction after KoD and that the "series needed to be rescued". There were many claims that RJ had lost his way after CoT, they all disappeared after that next book was released. To say RJ needed rescuing at that point ignores the facts and is somehwat insulting to the author. In addition TPoD has some of the highest quality writing in the entire series(Damona Campaign, Cup of Sleep etc).

 

Now for Shaidar's claim that TGS and ToM are an "order of magnatude" better than a few books, I would listen to the argument if you are referring to plot/fan gratification. However neither of those books hold up under the slightest literary analysis. They are very uneven in quality, far too bluntly written and the many mistakes along with poor characterization jar you out of the narrative all too frequently. The immersive experience is just not there for large stretches. Now I understand many people don't mind these issues and that is fine. We all have preferences and no one is right or wrong when it comes to those. Don't claim Brandon was an "order of magnatude" better than RJ however. That doesn't hold water.

Edited by Suttree
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@Agitel—I still don't see it as a mess to untangle, though. I think RJ started to have health problems while working on LOC, and that he drastically cut back on his writing schedule afterward because, in his own words, LOC almost killed him. As Harriet reiterated in that video they just put out, it took them a long time to get a diagnosis. I think the plot progression in those books is fine, but he felt the need to put out a book every two years and they got a lot shorter and covered a lot less ground plotwise than 4-6 did. I think he probably could have handled it if his health hadn't been declining. It probably would have been better for the Bowl to be used at the end of ACOS, for example. That's one bit he could have fit into that book if he didn't feel the need to go ahead and publish. 7-10 could have been three books rather than four, and that might have made a huge difference.

Edited by Terez
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The pacing mostly has to do with the number of story arcs and how every main character and story arc split up.  Just take a look at how it all occurs.

 

First book everyone is together for most of the story so it's the fastest book.

 

Second book has the three boys together for most of the book again, and the girls split up.

 

Third book shows Rand splitting up, but the girls are still together.

 

Fourth book shows the boys splitting up and introduces some new girls that stay together.

 

And so on and so on...all the major characters begin to split up.  It's not so much about RJ getting lost as it is that the "tree" of characters grows to where he didn't have the option to just ignore any of them and therefor had to devote page time to them.  As each major character goes on their own they require their own chapters to cover what is going on.

 

Now given all of that, I do think he could have reorganized the series and planned better to make things briefer.  Certain characters didn't need to be featured as their own story arcs (Elayne) and could have been kept to a minor role.  But what I'm really trying to say here is that the length of the series has little to do with RJ getting lazy in writing and losing focus, it has more to do with the character tree getting too big and REQUIRING pages.  The bigger that character tree is, the more pages are required to deal with each story arc.  And guess what that means?  Less actual events happen per book because RJ has to simultaneously now tell multiple stories.  Unless RJ or another author decided to start clipping story arcs or really dropping the quality down, it would be extremely difficult to change the pattern that has been going on.

 

Fortunately, the Last Battle occuring provides an excellent plot device to shortern arcs and dramatically change events around.  I think RJ was rather handicapped until he got to this point though.  It was going to be really difficult to shorten this series until every character was setup to the point where he can start writing the Last Battle sequences (that started to occur in ToM).  So this is mostly rambling, but what I'm saying is that the length of the series really was a result of upfront planning issues and not a result of losing focus during the writing process and just getting hung up in his own underpants.  There was not really a much faster way to write the series given the number of characters.  Unless of course you wanted to just snip out entire story arcs or dramatically change some events.  The only one that really stands out to me is the whole Bowl of the Winds thing with the girls...I saw little need for that whole charade other than to develop the girls characters (which was necessary, but could have been handled differently).

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Yeah - POD was brilliant. It was a mite shorter (due to lacking Mat, which blew) and its ''tone'' was very ''military'' and intense - but overall it was a great book.

 

COT - Ive talked at length at how understandable initial distaste for that book was, and Ive also talked about how hindsight has made me love that book.

 

KOD - Was...Flat.Out.AWERSOME.

 

 

Fish

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What's OP's problem with Brandon's work?  I get the sense he feels Brandon could have done more.  

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I have to agree with Terez. RJ could've closed this out in 2 or 3 books. It wasn't a tangled mess. KOD ended with everything pointing in the direction of TG.

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It probably would have been better for the Bowl to be used at the end of ACOS, for example. That's one bit he could have fit into that book if he didn't feel the need to go ahead and publish. 7-10 could have been three books rather than four, and that might have made a huge difference.

True! 7-10 could have been easily 3 books. Rand's time in Far Madding pre-cleansing, the elaborate descriptions in CoT (my take is that a third of the book could have been deleted without loss), Elayne's succession, and other minor issues could have been easily cut or deleted without missing a beat.

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I'm not talking about cutting anything. I'm talking about putting it all in three books instead of four. A few bits could have been a bit shorter, but there's not nearly as much filler as some people pretend. Anyway, 7-10 are drastically shorter than 4-6. Not only did RJ take longer to put out books after LOC, he also put out shorter books. He said that was in part due to the law of diminishing returns. In other words, he was ahead when he published TEOTW, and he stayed ahead until around TFOH. So LOC was finished at a murderous pace.

Edited by Terez
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I want to hop in here and help spread the PoD love. Just finished up my final re-read and PoD caught me by surprise. I had no idea how much the book had grown on me. PoD features so many wonderful tableaus (Rand and Callandor, Egwene and Co. popping up outside of Tar Valon, etc.). 

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I am a long time fan. I have enjoyed everyone of the books wrote by Mr. Jordan , and I would have read any number of books he would have written in the series. I agree very much with the solid criticism expressed here by long time fans( who , like me , love the characters, the words, everything,) have written about the last two books. I think that the way to read the books is what makes people like Luckers, Terez , Fish, etc, so interesting to follow. I think Luckers is a very sensitive person, and also a passionate reader. I do not like that people like him get to be ignored and dismissed when he comes loud and clear in his statements. He has the right to express his feelings. The final book is going to answer a lot of things. I feel very worried about it, because of the annoying little things that have been released that do not ring true. But I will read every little thread written about it. And I write blood and bloody ashes over the corrected but obviously not improved version.

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I don't mind supporting Brandon and Harriet for the hard work they've done, even though I'm dissatisfied with the result. I'm grateful that they tried, even though Brandon sometimes has a bit of a cavalier attitude toward things that I resent.

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I don't mind supporting Brandon and Harriet for the hard work they've done, even though I'm dissatisfied with the result. I'm grateful that they tried, even though Brandon sometimes has a bit of a cavalier attitude toward things that I resent.

 

Totally agree. Dissatisfaction with some things doesn't mean resentment. Nobody here denies that the effort is worth buying the books ( unless they say otherwise, in which case I would disagree, but that's another topic). 

 

After all, as people like to say all the time - at least we get an ending. It isn't like he completely destroyed the books beyond reading. If he messed up some things - it is good enough to be better than a brief outline of the ending. However, that doesn't make criticism invalid either. 

 

 Many people stopped reading before tGS because they didn't like Brandon writing the series. Some stopped reading after tGS. I suspect some even stopped after ToM, but we who still stick around at this point - through 3 Sanderson books - obviously have high enough respect for the man despite having problems. 

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One side-note: I joined the series around LOC. At that time, RJ said he needed 2-3 more books to finish the story. As more books came out, he often said 2-3 more books. When the dying man said he needed just 1 more to finish, I think he was just keeping up his spirits for the fight, giving himself a goal so as not to give up. I don't see how a long-time fan of the series could give any credence to RJ saying he was almost done. To me, it feels rushed at 3 more. I am nervous that it will end well with a scant 900 pages or whatever left.

I've seen the claim made before that RJ said he needed 2-3 more books to finish, and kept saying that. It's not backed up by any quote I've ever seen - for the early books, he used to estimate the number left.

 

lol. I suggest perusing the 'how many more books' tag (found on this page). Just a sampling (RJ quotes are, well, in quotes):

*edited to remove long list of quotes*

Wow, Terez, I didn't really expect you to go to that much trouble to prove me right. That said, I would appreciate it if you didn't edit my posts in such as way as to leave the remainder as misrepresenting what I said - if someone were to skip over my post and just read your reply, they might get rather the wrong idea about what I actually said. You omitted, for example, me saying that it was all qualified, not a hard number. "2-3 more books" and "at least 2-3 more books" are a bit different after all, and all I did was point out that RJ repeatedly said the latter, not the former (and it is only in 2005 that he transitions from "at least" to "just one more book" - even the one from the CoT interview is a qualified "probably 2"). Still, I am grateful for the effort that you've put in here to support me. It makes a change from your usual antics.

 

An example of that is Cadsuane and Tam, people claim it's completely out of character for Cadsuane to react as she did, and yes under normal circumstances that is correct. In this situation however, her last gambit to save Rand just went up in flames because Tam couldn't do as told. She is under extreme pressure because of this. And when somebody suddenly don't do as exactly as told, which is a thing she expects from people, she snaps. It's a perfectly normal human behaviour to act out of character under such circumstances. But for some reason people see Cadsuane as some sort of infallible creature, above humanity and basic emotions.

Actually, most people accept that some out of character behaviour is reasonable due to the circumstances - the problem is, her behaviour is wrong throughout. What happens with Tam is thus harder to dismiss as stress so much as part of a consistent mischaracterisation of her. If it was just the once, then it would absolutely be a matter of her plans going up in smoke.

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One side-note: I joined the series around LOC. At that time, RJ said he needed 2-3 more books to finish the story. As more books came out, he often said 2-3 more books. When the dying man said he needed just 1 more to finish, I think he was just keeping up his spirits for the fight, giving himself a goal so as not to give up. I don't see how a long-time fan of the series could give any credence to RJ saying he was almost done. To me, it feels rushed at 3 more. I am nervous that it will end well with a scant 900 pages or whatever left.

I've seen the claim made before that RJ said he needed 2-3 more books to finish, and kept saying that. It's not backed up by any quote I've ever seen - for the early books, he used to estimate the number left.

 

lol. I suggest perusing the 'how many more books' tag (found on this page). Just a sampling (RJ quotes are, well, in quotes):

*edited to remove long list of quotes*

Wow, Terez, I didn't really expect you to go to that much trouble to prove me right.

 

I didn't. I went to that much effort to prove that the person you were responding to was right, and that you just argue because you like to argue.

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Indeed, aren't people who argue for the sake of it incredibly irritating.

I've been rather put off posting here recently. Not because I think criticism is unfair or invalid or anything along those lines, but I think it is now reaching the point when criticism is being seen as fashionable.

Brandon's efforts are short of perfection. I genuinely believe the man when he says he believes he's giving all he can. I'm not sure we're entitled to expect more just because we may think (or wish) that he is capable of more; we aren't in his position and we don't know.
What is downright inexcusable is the increasing trend for people, when spoilers etc are released, to assert that they must include a mistake or that Brandon hasn't done the research or the like. I think, in a situation such as this, we have to trust the author until (in each specific example) are proven to have been mistaken. Otherwise, how can anyone realistically hope to enjoy the final book if one addresses it with nothing short of scepticism.

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What is downright inexcusable is the increasing trend for people, when spoilers etc are released, to assert that they must include a mistake or that Brandon hasn't done the research or the like. I think, in a situation such as this, we have to trust the author until (in each specific example) are proven to have been mistaken. Otherwise, how can anyone realistically hope to enjoy the final book if one addresses it with nothing short of scepticism.

Well the numerous mistakes in TGS and especially ToM have been well documented and admitted by Team Jordan. I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt for AMoL. The frustration is perfectly understandable however when you have a request for more time to "get it right" this time around and then there is a major mistake(linking) in the pre-release materials. On a more subjective level we have Brandon admitting he badly botched Mat as a character but subsequently fixed it. Then the pre AMoL Mat chapter has all of the same problems people complained about in the first place still clearly present. The big drop in quality in ToM eroded a fair amount of the good will built up and people started to realize fans had perhaps been unrealistic in their praise after the TGS release.

Edited by Suttree
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