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Concerns Regarding Discussion on Brandon Sanderson


Hayward1979
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I think the title says it all.  I am interested to hear what people think about the effect that some of the personal attacks on Brandon Sanderson and Team Jordan have had on the WoT community, especially here at Dragonmount.  It seems that over the past several months many posts have gone beyond mere literary criticism and are taking shots at Brandon's integrity in finishing the series. 

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Perhaps it would be useful if you could give a couple examples of these "personal attacks". A number of the fans seem to have a difficult time distinguishing between literary criticism and an "attack". Overall I feel people have offered a detailed analysis for what was and wasn't done well and that is a very important conversation to have.

 

I can really only count one hand the number of posters that have gone over the line into bashing(*cough* Mark D *cough*).

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I think anyone who has frequented the Forums here is aware of the examples.  And I disagree with the premise that fans "have a difficult time" distinguishing between literary criticism and an attack that impugns the character of Sanderson or members of Team Jordan, or that suggests that they did not undertake the last three books in good faith.   WoT fans are actually quite intelligent on the whole. 

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I've put this up and merged topics to add this brief intro to the topic. 

 

The nature of the thread is a contentious one, I ask that everyone remains respectful and abide by the CoC. 

 

The thread is discussing the effects the critique, which is sometimes regarded as going too far, of Brandon Sanderson and his efforts have had on the WoT Community. 

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I think he had an "impossible" job, really, in giving us the ending. It was never going to be like the Jordan would have done it, so .. He didn't try to imitate Jordan, and that was a good idea, IMO. I think he mostly got the characters somewhere in the way Jordan wrote them. Mat was not easy to capture, but the general ideas behind his reasoning was about the same. There were some things in the real ending that I wished would have been slightly different when I read it, and I don't know if that was how Jordan intended them. Some of the things Jordan would have done with the ending probably would have been something one wouldn't have liked to see, after debating the books with people and then seeing ones favorite theories and ideas becoming something else instead. 

 

The critique against Sanderson has been overly dramatic for many, as I see it. I sometimes got the impression they took personal offense by the way the story was told. Seems over the top. Or maybe they just exaggerate things when they write them on the internet, what do I know. I don't think I would have been offended by any ending, since it's just a story. Sure, it's a story one has grown attached to, and one always wanted to know what would happen. 

 

In the long run, I think it was the right ending we got under the sad circumstances. Someone else would perhaps have written the ending a bit differently, but people would definitely have been disappointed in that author anyway, I have no doubt at all about that.

 

In many ways, I think Sanderson's own books are doing him more justice as a writer than the WoT books, because they're his own. No writer can really do full justice to another's works, or at least I don't know any who have done it. I'm not disappointed in his WoT books, even so. I accept them for what they are, and am glad they were written. I enjoyed reading the ending, for getting to know an ending.

 

Now I am eagerly awaiting the Encyclopedia, for the stuff that remains to see spelled out on paper. Questions remaining.

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I think anyone who has frequented the Forums here is aware of the examples.

I'm just saying you must have found the examples extremely widespread to start this topic. It should be easy to pull a few and it would be helpful to establish what constitutes "bashing".

 

And I disagree with the premise that fans "have a difficult time" distinguishing between literary criticism and an attack that impugns the character of Sanderson or members of Team Jordan, or that suggests that they did not undertake the last three books in good faith.

Well as Barid said this can be a touchy topic and I'm sure he can attest to how often the two get confused. It's also important to note that certain posters here have connections to Team Jordan and so were afforded a "glimpse behind the scenes" if you will at the process. Not everyone is working with the same information when judging how certain things played out.

 

WoT fans are actually quite intelligent on the whole.

Thanks for that. Look your new here so let me give you some background. TGS was released to almost universal acclaim in the fandom. Fans were excited to be getting an ending and basking in the glow of "plot gratification" and the work t was largely well done. Brandon being new was handled with kid gloves in a sense and rightly so. It wasn't until after ToM and rereads that people really started seeing how uneven the work could be at times and the conversation began to shift. For the first time there was a realistic discussion of what we actually were getting both good and bad. These types of discussions gained momentum and started dominating threads, at times to an unhealthy degree. A backlash was inevitable perhaps but here is where things really got out of hand. It got to the point where almost any critique of the work got the poster shouted down as a "hater". It didn't matter how detailed or well reasoned the post, they were yelled at for bashing Brandon and threads would get derailed with back and forth bickering. So point of the story. In knowing the above it would be helpful to see examples of what you mean by "bashing". What you state above in terms of "character attacks" have been extremely rare(here and at TL at least) and posted by the same 2 or 3 borderline troll type personalities. Badhead mentioned YouTube...are there other places online where people have gotten out of hand? Edited by Suttree
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I'm not going to get into a debate on who or what was worse than the other. 

 

This is how things happened, resulting in the current situation. After ToM, two 'factions' seemed to emerge, and almost every thread was dominated by 1 party calling out everything wrong with Brandon Sanderson - relevant or not to the topic - and the other party complaining. 

 

Both sides had a point, so we improvised. On the one hand, everyone is allowed their opinion on the work. If they hated it, they have a right to express it. On the other hand, de-railing every thread with comments about Brandon Sanderson is counter productive. Thus, the Quality Discussion thread was formed. The General WoTD didn't have a thread for it - the one that did died out a long time ago - and so I designated one just recently. Beyond that, there is nothing that can be done. If people are sick of hearing about it, I'm afraid I'm not going to stop one group of people posting because another doesn't like it. 

 

The discussion on Brandon's work has continued in the Quality Discussion thread and has been a contentious one - as can be observed by the 100+ pages of discussion. Some people have expressed their views on the work ethic -of both authors, mind you - the ability of the authors and decisions that were made. 

 

Thus, the debate has incorporated views such as Brandon made poor decisions in regard to something, that Brandon is not a good writer - or is the best writer in fantasy. There have also been questions on how much he devoted to the project, in light of interview material (an example being Brandon said he gave up reading the extended notes after 3 months). People have expressed the opinion that Brandon's work has been sloppy and he did not fully commit the best of his ability. I don't necessarily agree with these opinions, however, they are as valid an opinion to make as the person who says they were happy about how hard he worked on the project. 

 

It is also not restricted to Brandon Sanderson. Many times I have seen RJ accused of things. That he was racist. That he purposely dragged out the series to milk profits. That he grew lazy and didn't care about the WoT any more. 

 

And people are allowed to defend both authors as they wish, so long as it abides by the CoC.

 

In terms of the negativity - no doubt that it has affected the community, the WoT, and Brandon Sanderson. However, it is not something that anyone can do anything about. All users have the right to post their opinion - whatever it may be- if they abide by the CoC. Of course, you can suggest people ease up on the negativity - but you can't stop people posting the opinions. 

 

Discussion about the quality of writing is restricted to the designated threads. Plot criticism is harder to monitor. In a topic about something like Elayne's Arc (a topic that has arisen recently) people are allowed to criticise RJ's plotwork saying it was dragged out too long and he made a mistake, not putting enough action in and too many bath scenes. 

 

So at the same time, Brandon (and RJ) are open to criticism about the plot. For example the relevance of Hinderstap in tGS. 

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I am new to posting here, but not new here by any definition. Faulty assumption on your part. I know all of the background and do not need a biased summary of the proceedings, because I have watched it unfold over the years. After years of holding my tongue, I thought it was finally time to express my opinion (based upon my observations of the WoT community here) that the incessant targeting of Sanderson has irrevocably damaged the community and tainted Team Jordan's legacy.

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Look Hayward no offense intended, you joined in July so I thought I would give you the back story. Barid and I just gave almost the exact same breakdown. It is how things went down...shrug.

 

So you have now mentioned both "personal attacks" and "incessant targeting" over the past several months(ironically the quality discussion has slowed way down during that time). Now I don't know if you are being hyperbolic trying to make your point but I'm afraid I am going to have to ask you again to quote or link examples of what you are referring to. According to you it's happening incessantly so it should be very easy to do.

 

One other point. You are giving far too much credit to people on message boards. RJ has sold over 80 million books and the overwhelming majority of people buying them have never spent a second online in the WoT community. Team Jordan's legacy is based on the work between the pages and nothing more.

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I think the title says it all.  I am interested to hear what people think about the effect that some of the personal attacks on Brandon Sanderson and Team Jordan have had on the WoT community, especially here at Dragonmount.  It seems that over the past several months many posts have gone beyond mere literary criticism and are taking shots at Brandon's integrity in finishing the series.

 

Mr Sanderson is writer, so he has to endure with patience our opinions. (And facts are stubborn things too, as we say it.) He has to deal with it. And as I recall nobody held a gun to his head, so could say NO to the invitation.

I don't see anything offending post like this:

 

 

 

Hayward1979, the leader of our little bookclub (cseresz or cseresz.reborn) has a really good, long post about this topic but right now he is in hospital (unfortunately, he's very sick for months), so I can't quote him.

 

(Posts by Mr Ares and Suttree will also enlight you.)

 

Anyway, here are my thoughts:

 

1. the sales of novels (written by Mr Sanderson) have fallen by a half - that's very telling, don't you think? No official numbers but publishers love to boast about their figures.

 

2. The disappointment was so huge that forums were dead the by February, 2013. (No wonder: from a mere 150 pages incoherent text even GRRM can't write a 3000 pages novel in the style and aim of Mr Jordan. And GRRM is the only living author who is in the same league with Mr Jordan.) Even Erikson's boards are more alive!

 

3. Nobody quotes on Mr Sanderson's books. Nobody. Almost every quotes from Mr Jordan's books. There are a few quotes from the last three book but the poster adds immediately: this is Mr Sanderson's opinion so this is not (!) canon! (From filler books no one can qoute anything anyway.)

 

4. Mr Sanderson writes for children. No one can denies it. If you don't see the mountain size gap in quality between Mr Jordan's and Mr Sanderson's books then good for you. You are a happy man I think. (The general feeling, the story, the characters don't hold consistent with the writing of Mr Jordan. No emotional resonance etc.)

 

I first heard that from cseresz and I totally agree with him:

 

5. Mr Sanderson was selected for only one reason: he writes fast and after Mr Jordan's death the TOR had no "cow" to milk, so they thought: Mr Sanderson will write three WoT books, the fans will adapt his style and they will follow him into his new ten books series. The idea was great but Mr Jordan's fans are not Mr Sanderson's fans.

 

And I gree with them too:

 

Flipsaken:

The most striking thing about the Sanderson books for me is that I don't think I'll ever read them again. I have read all of RJs books at least three times since his death, but I've only read TGS twice and TOM once and I struggled to even finish AMoL. I know I'll re-read the series up to KoD again, but I just can't see me reading the last three. I just can't see them as cannon. It would have been far better to have left the series as it was than to finish it this way.

 

Rhienne:

I feel the same. I think they really do read like fanfiction. relatively good for fanfiction, but definitely still fanfiction. I kind of wish BS and TJ would come out and tell us which bits were written by RJ, which plot points were his, etc. I can understand why

they don't, and it might not be quite fair to BS to do so, but I would prefer to know which scenes are cannon, and which I can re-imagine if I'm unsatisfied with.

nitavonne:

I have waited for a while before I commented again. I confess that for the first time ever.; I cannot contemplate rereading the Wheel of Time; I do not want to re read the final book ever again. I shall not read River of Souls either, I am not a masochist. I shall purchase the Encyclopedia , but first I shall read bits and pieces in the bookstore . I feel very disappointed with the caretakers of Mr. Jordan's Legacy.

 

Jaxian:

There is a lot to say about a AMOL, but, all I'll say is quite simply it was garbage. This series should have died with Robert Jordan. Sanderson has ruined this series.None of the characters sound or act like they did, Demandred was ruined, Grandel was ruined, everyone was ruined, the final battle was complete nonsense of poor writing, everything including the ending reaked of everyone having the idiot ball. I knew Sanderson would be a mistake, I knew it, but, nobody listened, and my fears were correct. Sanderson can not write. I have read some of his books, and they all are complete nonsense. Jordan was no master writer, but, his prose was at least far superior to anything Sanderson could write. Ugh. If Jordan were alive now he'd be red with anger.

 

nossy:

I still can't decide. However, I don't know that I care that much when an individual character isn't quite right; I care when they aren't even present. For me, it was worse to see my favorite characters do something major in one paragraph (or off-screen) or not

do anything at all, when there were hours of Trolloc fights. I'm sure it was going to be that way with Jordan too, to some degree, but I do think he would have tied things up better for his main roles. I can't imagine he wouldn't have. What we got was very unsatisfying, for me.

 

DomA:

 

In Brandon's hands, all the secondary cast has either become completely generic or else weas turned into caricatures of their former selves (everyone from Lelaine/Romanda to Talmanes, Morgase, Galad to Cadsuane), even Jordan's more succesful villains, he didn't have a whole bunch he handled that well, have turned into cartoons (especially Graendal). Even with the major players, Brandon has massive problems. Mat is half the time completely off character, Lan was totally flat, Egwene and Elayne are but a pale shadow of their former selves, and their intelligence so undermined you just can't suspend disbelief and think their scenes make much sense. All the characters have taken some mysterious brew that dropped their IQ massively (and for all the complaints about the stupidity of this and that character, Sanderson makes apparent how intelligent Jordan was.

There are things he wasn't so good as conveying, but intelligence/cunning, he was). From his own novels it was apparent that one of Brandon's weaknesses as a Fantasy writer is with politics/cultures/social classes. In this regard, his world building and plots are very naive, but then, he doesn't focus his books on this, so it's not that bad. In WOT, it becomes a major annoyance. Brandon makes Jordan look like a master political writer in comparison, which Jordan hardly was. I felt like I was reading the

work of an arch-caricatural American high school student whose only understanding of nobility and socially stratified societies from older eras and different from the US seems to come from Disney's fairy tales with Queens and princes).

 

cannoli:

 

Which is exactly what some of us WoT nerds are most interested in, hence Sanderson "ruining" the series for us. I think a large part of why aMoL went down so much better than ToM was that, in addition to the heavy action content playing to Sanderson's strengths, we were immunized or callused and had given up on expecting WoT-type writingfrom these books, so it was able to meet lower expectations.

 

Re: Please give a few examples..... DomA

 

Examples might not help you much. You admit being a casual reader, and there's nothing wrong with that, but if you're not a re reader who paid a lot of attention to each of the secondary character's voices, I doubt you noticed what was off or missing or that you would care much. The Brandon books are massively better received by the

casual fans like you and that's ok. The more invested fans who paid a lot of attention to details (and Jordan was a rewarding writer for those, as he was extremely consistent with the details and character voices) are understandably far less satisfied with the result. A lot of characters were simply off. Their body language was different, the tone of their lines was different, the things they focused on during their POVs was off. They felt like re-cast actors going through RJ-planned scenes. Good examples of those would be Cadsuane and Tuon, or Romanda and Lelaine. To a lesser measure, there's Elayne.

 

RJ was a devil for details. Brandon threw in many trademark RJ things, but often they were used just in the wrong places, and that's noticeable for those who paid attention.

Some characters were interestingly written, but they became more Brandon's characters than RJ's. Pevara is one of those. She was interesting, but it wasn't Pevara.

For others, it's more subtle. They're for the most part not really "off", but some layers of their personalities or that made the flavor of their POVs were gone. They became thinner, more one-sided or reduced to a few core elements. Egwene is one of those, and I bet it owed much to the fact RJ left for her a lot of unpolished first draft

dialogue and Brandon used it more or less "as is" without adding the trademark Egwene stuff that RJ would have added in further drafts once the core elements of the scene were laid out. For other characters, it's more like breaking continuity in their

character development. For some it's as if Brandon hit rewind, and made them go through late series phases again, in new scenes. It's like Brandon did this to get into the characters, which is fine, but normally those "writing exercises" should have gone to the cutting room floor afterward. Eg. of this: Perrin in TGS and early TOM.

 

With some, Brandon struggled more to find the voice, and didn't have that much to go by (they didn't have many POVs before) and they came up a bit suffering from the KJA/"Dune" syndrome (ie: Brandon re-hashed old stuff or clichés from their culture to write them, making them feel a bit like caricatures). Aviendha is one of those.

For others it's not so much their voices were completely off on the whole but that Brandon made one big continuity error then ran himself into walls with them. Tam and Uno are two examples. Both have mini-arcs in AMOL that are based on such continuity errors. To those who spotted the errors, their arcs made no sense.

 

Then there were those who were completely off. E.g. Graendal or Mat.

 

Ituralde is another who started fine in TGS but gradually veered away from the established character to finally become just cardboard. It was no longer so credible as a Great Captain.

 

Mat was the most off, and it was the most harmful because he's so central.

 

Overall, Brandon also dealt with the secondary cast in a very un-RJ way. In his hands they were less characters but cardboard puppets bearing their names, when he remembered to include them at all. For the most part Brandon didn't bother, instead he created picket fences with names to fill those minor parts. It's noticeable in both TGS and TOM that in the beginning of the books he paid more care to include

"real players" and the more he progressed, the more he started either re-using a single player over and over (eg: Naeff in TGS) or start to introduce tons of picket fences (all those new Asha'man, AS, warders, Two Rivers people, Aiel...). I guess for more casual readers it didn't matter as they couldn't tell them apart from existing minor players, but when you can it did matter.

 

It's perfectly understandable he did that in first draft, not to break his writing momentum just because he had to have two maidens stand guard in a scene he'd need to name or add a line or two of dialogue for later. I'm sure RJ did much the same. Leaving it at that

in further drafts though, when he had two assistants who could easily find him and provide him with the right players and a few backgrounds elements to use so he could make these "utilities" into established minor players in further drafts gave the three books a very rough and unpolished feel.

 

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I can really only count one hand the number of posters that have gone over the line into bashing(*cough* Mark D *cough*).

 

From what I recall after reading AMoL, I felt Mark D hit the nail on the head when I sifted through that discussion thread about the quality.  

Let's face it...AMoL is beyond poor.

I had such high hopes for AMoL, that I was willing to accept how bad ToM was, believing AMoL had-to-be-better.

From what I can recall of Mark D's posts, is that I kept nodding when I read them.

 

 

I think Mr Ares said it best in a recently locked thread;

 

Posted 01 September 2013 - 11:21 AM

 

To be honest, and many have said it, we should be grateful we actually got resolution. Because RJ had said he would destroy everything. Leaving us without an end. Sure, the final three aren't the same. But they are an ending. Which is what we all wanted. For that I am eternally grateful.

Given the choice between nothing and something bad, nothing has its merits. A lack of an ending would have been disappointing, but then the ending we got was disappointing as well. One way leave sit open for us to imagine what comes next, the other tells us what happens and leaves us feeling that we wish we didn't know. Yes, we got closure. That alone does not excuse all failings. If you are going to do something, do it well.

.../ /...

The result is a decidedly mixed reaction, with those who are happy just to get an ending being pleased, and those who are willing to think critically being underwhelmed. 

 

The end was utterly disapointing on so, so many levels, I hardly can believe we're having a discussion about it.

In hindsight, I can hardly believe -based on the lack of quality plot-wise, detail-wise & charatcer-wise of AMoL- that BS wanted WoT to end great.

BS did a BS job. And you can read that any way you want.

 

 

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I recall you joining the chatroom one night and bringing this up, Hayward.  There were several of us in there.  I for one enjoyed the last few books and think Mr. Sanderson did a great job.  There were others who weren't as pleased, but everyone was civil in the discussion, with no 'bashing' taking place.  And this is the norm for me whenever I see it discussed.  People may be displeased, but I've not seen anyone act in a degrading or childlike manner.

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The end was utterly disapointing on so, so many levels, I hardly can believe we're having a discussion about it.

In hindsight, I can hardly believe -based on the lack of quality plot-wise, detail-wise & charatcer-wise of AMoL- that BS wanted WoT to end great.

BS did a BS job. And you can read that any way you want.

 

 

Thank you so much for proving the point of my post.  If anyone out there really does not consider this to be "Brandon bashing" then you will never be convinced.

 

Not only are you questioning Brandon's character, but you are flat out insulting anyone who felt satisfied with the work on the last three books or the ending.

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Look, just because I don't think he did such a great job finishing the series doesn't mean I'm personally attacking Sanderson. I for one don't really question Sanderson's dedication, nor do I question his writing ability (I haven't read any of his other works, and from what I've heard, they aren't my thing anyway). The best of writers can write dodgy fan-fiction because they aren't writing in their own world with their own characters, they have to adopt the world and characters of another author, and I don't think anyone can do that well.

 

So that's what I regard Sanderson's work on WoT as, fan-fiction. People can be happy or displeased with it, we can regard it as official canon, but to me, it reads like fanfic, and I don't think there's anything insulting about that, in reality I suppose it technically is fanfic.

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Not only are you questioning Brandon's character, but you are flat out insulting anyone who felt satisfied with the work on the last three books or the ending.

 

How does that insult anyone that was satisfied with the ending? Someone being satisfied says absolutely nothing about the quality of the work so it really shouldn't be an issue either way. Look at how many people are "satisfied" with Stephanie Meyer and Twilight. I think I'm starting to see another issue here however. This is as much about you as it is about Brandon. You enjoyed the work and as a result you take the critique as some sort of personal affront.

 

One thing to note about Mik. Right up until AMoL he was one of Brandon's most ardent supporters. He has not come to his opinion without a great deal of thought and soul searching. In terms of what he said, even if we do agree it's an attack, now you just have to back up your claim that it happens "incessantly". An opinion I should mention, that multiple long standing posters have already disagreed with. It is very rare.

 

As Barid said:

 

There have also been questions on how much he devoted to the project, in light of interview material (an example being Brandon said he gave up reading the extended notes after 3 months). People have expressed the opinion that Brandon's work has been sloppy and he did not fully commit the best of his ability. I don't necessarily agree with these opinions, however, they are as valid an opinion to make as the person who says they were happy about how hard he worked on the project. 

 

That ties in very closely to the complaint's Mik makes above. It is also important to note that RJ has faced the very same criticism. You have no idea what the mood was like after the CoT release, it was equal to anything we have seen with Brandon's work. In fact with most casual fans(Amazon, reddit, Goodreads), the ones that are less likely notice many of the issues, there is the thought that Brandon "saved" an overly long and bloated series. Bottom line...critcism has been a part of the fandom for a long time and is not unique to BS.

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An opinion I should mention, that multiple long standing posters have already disagreed with. It is very rare.

 

 

So rare that it took less than 24 hours for someone (Mik) to beautifully illustrate my point for me and question Brandon's character and dedication?  Really, this is the argument that you're going with, even after Mik's post? Really?

 

 

 You have no idea what the mood was like after the CoT release, it was equal to anything we have seen with Brandon's work.

 

Again, what is with the completely unfounded assumptions regarding what I would "have no idea" about?  In fact, I do remember, very clearly, the mood after CoT was released.  I have been a part of the WoT since we were discussing the early books in AOL chat rooms.  Please stop pretending that you are the only one with knowledge of the fandom's reactions.  Many people, myself included, have read Dragonmount and many other sites for years without becoming members. 

 

 

I think I'm starting to see another issue here however. This is as much about you as it is about Brandon. You enjoyed the work and as a result you take the critique as some sort of personal affront.

 

 

I really don't take personal offense if a self-annointed "super-fan" suggests that enjoying Brandon's work on the series is evidence that I have bad taste or that I lack basic intelligence, although I would note that many previous posts (again, just see Mik's post above) take that approach.  However, I do not appreciate the extent to which Brandon's intense critics seem to want to make this point, with the continual insinuation that for "true fans" it should be a foregone conclusion that Brandon ruined the series.  It has splintered the fan community and left a bitter taste in the mouths of many, many people, which is what compelled to start posting after all of these years.  In actuality, you should know that some of the extremely negative reactions and attacks on Brandon's work ethic have not gone unnoticed by Brandon and Team Jordan, and their overall opinion of the dedicated fan community is decidedly less positive than it was a few years ago.

Edited by Hayward1979
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I think there is an issue in that many people have discussed in detail (particularly in the Quality Discussion thread) the reasons why they feel dissatisfied with AMoL (and/or ToM/tGS).  Yes, there is a lot of negativity towards how the series ended (although there is also a lot of the opposite, too), but Mr Sanderson is an artist.  As a writer he is putting his work out there, and in a forum where some of the discussion is on literary criticism there are going to be some threads where the majority of the focus is a critique, i.e. primarily identifying flaws or areas of weakness.  This is not 'bashing' an author.  I don't think I have seen any personal comments on BS (or at least very few or marginal ones), while there have been a lot of comments on his writing.  

 

It is also generally accepted that he had an extremely difficult job.  It is always going to be an impossible task to get it 100% right when you are using another author's world and characters, and are also responsible for directing some of the character development and plot direction.  Because the task was so hard, it makes it more likely that there will be more criticism, and more aspects of the work which fans will be unhappy with, or feel are poorly executed.  BS is an established author and I am sure he was aware of this, the more negative side of taking on this project, as well as all the benefits as well.

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So rare that it took less than 24 hours for someone (Mik) to beautifully illustrate my point for me and question Brandon's character and dedication?  Really, this is the argument that you're going with, even after Mik's post? Really?

 

 

Three things.

 

1. People questioned RJ's character and dedication.

 

2. Not to say I agree but the question of effort is a fair one given the time spent studying the notes and the fact that Team Jordan had to change his entire writing process post ToM because the work was so unpolished. No one expected him to do as good a job as "RJ was capable of". It is entirely valid to ask if he did as good a job as "Brandon was capable of".

 

3. When looking at the overall volume of comments based around "quality" ones actually crossing the line have been very rare. That is a fact. You are making the claim that it happens "incessantly". It's on you to back that claim up with proof.

 

Again, what is with the completely unfounded assumptions regarding what I would "have no idea" about?  In fact, I do remember, very clearly, the mood after CoT was released.

If that is true why are you pretending as if criticism is a new phenomenon in the WoT community?

 

Many people, myself included, have read Dragonmount and many other sites for years without becoming members.

Yet you just started posting in July.  

 

However, I do not appreciate the extent to which Brandon's intense critics seem to want to make this point, with the continual insinuation that for "true fans" it should be a foregone conclusion that Brandon ruined the series.

This quite simply isn't true. Even when looking at his most ardent critics the vast majority of them have thanked him for his work and realize quite well how difficult of a job it was. They have discussed both the good and the bad. The key here is being realistic about what we have. Perhaps you care to give a breakdown highlighting your own thoughts?

 

In actuality, you should know that some of the extremely negative reactions and attacks on Brandon's work ethic have not gone unnoticed by Brandon and Team Jordan, and their overall opinion of the dedicated fan community is decidedly less positive than it was a few years ago.

 

In point of fact BS is on record stating not only how helpful the criticism has been at times, but also how important it is for people to critique art.

 

Brandon

I'll do my best, and criticism like this is important to me. (Particularly on the Wheel of Time books, where I feel that listening to fan direction is important for gauging how well I'm doing on the characters.) It was fan criticism that brought me around to finally seeing what I was doing wrong with Mat, and (hopefully) making some strides toward writing him more accurate to himself.

 

As for the rest, I am far more aware of how the process has gone than you could ever guess. I've seen a good deal behind the scenes and I certainly wish it could all be thrown open to the public. There seems to be a disconnect between some fans sentiment and the reality of what has gone on. Regardless again when you talk of Team Jordan's legacy being tainted you give message boards far too much credit. The online community is a relatively small portion of the overall whole.

Edited by Suttree
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Brandon Sanderson is a drug-abusing child molester. That's an unfounded attack on BS (though I have no knowledge that he isn't such, only that any child abuse or drug molesting hasn't reached my attention thus far).

 

Team Jordan's work on the final 3 books didn't live up to expectations of what they should have been able to accomplish (because examples or more useful generally discussing some specific aspect of the project). If examples are given it's at least probably not unfounded.

 

See the difference? (There's many subtle things to worry about, but going into those now would dilute my point; Suttree makes a start on them above.)

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Edited to add spoiler tags

 

 

 

 

The end was utterly disapointing on so, so many levels, I hardly can believe we're having a discussion about it.
In hindsight, I can hardly believe -based on the lack of quality plot-wise, detail-wise & charatcer-wise of AMoL- that BS wanted WoT to end great.
BS did a BS job. And you can read that any way you want.

 
Thank you so much for proving the point of my post.  If anyone out there really does not consider this to be "Brandon bashing" then you will never be convinced.
 
Not only are you questioning Brandon's character, but you are flat out insulting anyone who felt satisfied with the work on the last three books or the ending.

 

Let's just say I'm rather late to the party.

I "defended" (of a sorts) Brandon all throughout TGS & ToM, right up untill the release of AMoL.

Ever since I've managed to finish reading AMoL (and yes..that was an ordeal for me), I was so disapointed (and I mean..utter, utter disapointment), that I steered clear of Dmount up untill yesterday.

So...let's just say...this Thread got lucky!

And yes... I do feel the writer let us down.

Just so you know... if RJ would have written this (AMoL and parts of ToM), I'd respond much in the same way.
I heavily critize AMoL. Brandon wrote that, didn't he?

Luckers, Suttree, Fisher, etc, etc, etc... were right all along.

I defended Brandon in spite of seeing how right they were, but I had high hopes for AMoL... and figured that TJ/ BS would do better on the grand finale!
Boy oh boy, was *I* wrong. It just got worse. Way worse.

I owe it to myself...to guys like Luckers... and to RJ to say it.
And to say it clear:
AMoL was worse then it should have been..and in fact..
AMoL was worse then it COULD have been.
Who else can I 'blame' for that then it's maker?

And if you feel insulted by me being utterly dissatisfied with how WoT ended (meaning rougly 1,5 books worth of text), that's all you mate.
People giving praise to BS for AMoL and who say the last three books were better then RJ's work don't insult me in the slightest.
I just don't understand them (..at all)
 

Don't feel insulted by my words about what BS delivered as WoT's final book.
Just disagree with my harsh criticism and don't understand me.

 

 

Not only are you questioning Brandon's character, but you are flat out insulting anyone who felt satisfied with the work on the last three books or the ending.

 
How does that insult anyone that was satisfied with the ending? Someone being satisfied says absolutely nothing about the quality of the work so it really shouldn't be an issue either way. Look at how many people are "satisfied" with Stephanie Meyer and Twilight. I think I'm starting to see another issue here however. This is as much about you as it is about Brandon. You enjoyed the work and as a result you take the critique as some sort of personal affront.
 
One thing to note about Mik. Right up until AMoL he was one of Brandon's most ardent supporters. He has not come to his opinion without a great deal of thought and soul searching. In terms of what he said, even if we do agree it's an attack, now you just have to back up your claim that it happens "incessantly". An opinion I should mention, that multiple long standing posters have already disagreed with. It is very rare.

 

I wouldn't want to call me "one of Brandon's most ardent supporters". I just wanted to give Brandon the benefit of the doubt untill we got the whole package, because I honestly believed AMoL would deliver. I was afraid that by voicing too much criticism on ToM and everything that we learned about AMoL in the year before it's release would spoil AMoL's release. *shrugs*
So yeah, I did give Brandon the benefit of the doubt and even 'waged war' on people I agreed with (mostly), like yourself, Fish, Barid & Luckers....just for Brandon's sake, regardless of the quality of his work up untill that point.
In hindsight, Brandon didn't deserve the benefit of my doubt.
 

As Barid said:


There have also been questions on how much he devoted to the project, in light of interview material (an example being Brandon said he gave up reading the extended notes after 3 months). People have expressed the opinion that Brandon's work has been sloppy and he did not fully commit the best of his ability. I don't necessarily agree with these opinions, however, they are as valid an opinion to make as the person who says they were happy about how hard he worked on the project.

 
That ties in very closely to the complaint's Mik makes above. It is also important to note that RJ has faced the very same criticism. You have no idea what the mood was like after the CoT release, it was equal to anything we have seen with Brandon's work. In fact with most casual fans(Amazon, reddit, Goodreads), the ones that are less likely notice many of the issues, there is the thought that Brandon "saved" an overly long and bloated series. Bottom line...critcism has been a part of the fandom for a long time and is not unique to BS.

 

Exactly.
Brandon always said he was a real WoT fan. Well.. I did some 'soul-searching' in these past few months.
And the end-result of AMoL (story-line wise...plot-wise...writing-quality-wise...character-wise) AND being a real fan that was trusted with RJ's notes that wanted WoT to end G.R.E.A.T..just.don''t.mix in my opinion.

I wish -I honestly, honestly wish- I could view it any other way.
MR Ares says it best (and elss blunt, perhaps):
"Yes, we got closure. That alone does not excuse all failings. If you are going to do something, do it well"

It wasn't just done "not well" ...AMoL was done extremely poor.
About as poor as BS could get away with, I'd say.

 

 

An opinion I should mention, that multiple long standing posters have already disagreed with. It is very rare.

 
So rare that it took less than 24 hours for someone (Mik) to beautifully illustrate my point for me and question Brandon's character and dedication?  Really, this is the argument that you're going with, even after Mik's post? Really?

 

Like I said... I just got back here for the first time in months. I guess your thread got lucky! I'd like to add that if AMoL had been RJ's work, I'd critisize that work in much the same way. I still hold back a little.
 

 

You have no idea what the mood was like after the CoT release, it was equal to anything we have seen with Brandon's work.

 
Again, what is with the completely unfounded assumptions regarding what I would "have no idea" about?  In fact, I do remember, very clearly, the mood after CoT was released.  I have been a part of the WoT since we were discussing the early books in AOL chat rooms.  Please stop pretending that you are the only one with knowledge of the fandom's reactions.  Many people, myself included, have read Dragonmount and many other sites for years without becoming members.

 

Would you have posted this same Thread if RJ would have ended WoT with AMoL having the exact same content and me critisizing his work even more?
If you want to understand why we critize the (lack of) quality of AMoL, I suggest you re-read all posts of the 'Quality' thread.

 

Brandon Sanderson is a drug-abusing child molester. That's an unfounded attack on BS (though I have no knowledge that he isn't such, only that any child abuse or drug molesting hasn't reached my attention thus far).
 
Team Jordan's work on the final 3 books didn't live up to expectations of what they should have been able to accomplish (because examples or more useful generally discussing some specific aspect of the project). If examples are given it's at least probably not unfounded.
 
See the difference? (There's many subtle things to worry about, but going into those now would dilute my point; Suttree makes a start on them above.)

Nicely put, that!

Well founded criticism (go read all of the posts in the 'Quality Discussion Thread') does not equal bashing. Not in the slightest.
Regardless of how 'subtle' you prefer your criticism.

Laying blame for that where it should lie, namely with the painter of a horrible painting...or the writer of a horrible book makes perfect sense.
Now that AMoL is there..we've had our chance to review it (and review it some more..AND some more) we have more then enough reason to call a spade a spade.

 

Edited by BFG
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I think I'm starting to see another issue here however. This is as much about you as it is about Brandon. You enjoyed the work and as a result you take the critique as some sort of personal affront.

I really don't take personal offense if a self-annointed "super-fan" suggests that enjoying Brandon's work on the series is evidence that I have bad taste or that I lack basic intelligence, although I would note that many previous posts (again, just see Mik's post above) take that approach.  However, I do not appreciate the extent to which Brandon's intense critics seem to want to make this point, with the continual insinuation that for "true fans" it should be a foregone conclusion that Brandon ruined the series.  It has splintered the fan community and left a bitter taste in the mouths of many, many people, which is what compelled to start posting after all of these years.  In actuality, you should know that some of the extremely negative reactions and attacks on Brandon's work ethic have not gone unnoticed by Brandon and Team Jordan, and their overall opinion of the dedicated fan community is decidedly less positive than it was a few years ago.

Firstly, there is no suggestion that liking Brandon's work is suggestive of a lack of intelligence or taste. But in a discussion, what matters is if and how you back your opinion up, not what your opinion is - if someone lays out some well thought out criticisms, and the response is "Well, I liked it", that is a refusal to engage with the debate. But the reverse is true as well, if someone offers up well thought out praise of all the things Brandon did well then simply stating that one does't like it is also a failure to engage with debate. The problem lies not in the praise or criticism being offered, only in the disconnect between those who wish for an honest discussion on the flaws and merits of the book and those who merely wish to say that they liked/disliked it and not commit to any deeper analysis - and try to shut down that analysis, in some cases (not that I'm accusing anyone in particular of that, merely pointing out that it happens).

 

Secondly, I don't think it is fair to say that Brandon-hate has splintered the community - there have always been disagreements, Brandon is merely something different to disagree about. There may be a difference in degree, but not in kind - the nature of the fandom has remained unchanged. "Game's the same. Just got more vicious is all."

 

Thirdly, even if Team Jordan and Brandon think less of us dedicated fans than they once did the feeling is, it must be said, to some extent mutual. The split was made for commercial reasons rather than artistic ones - it's hard to argue against that, given the statements those involved made at the time, - and some of the problems with the series could have been fixed with more rigorous checking of facts and so on (the timeline issues, for example). They were apparently content to put out a book containing these flaws - and the books in question received criticism, just as RJ's books received criticism when they were released despite problems. If it was in Team Jordan's power to fix problems and they didn't, then surely they are deserving of criticism for that?

Edited by Mr Ares
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Firstly, there is no suggestion that liking Brandon's work is suggestive of a lack of intelligence or taste.

 

Look, if you choose to be deliberately obtuse about this, then I can't stop you. [removed]  And yes, if someone asserts that Sanderson and TJ were lazy, uncaring or greedy in finishing the series the way that they did, with no other evidentiary backup other than their personal feelings that things did not turn out the way that they should, then those assertions are personal attacks, without basis, which pretty clearly tarnish the WoT community and especially Dragonmount.

 

To put in terms that you might better appreciate, it's like when Gretchen and Elliot claimed that Walt had no role in the development of Grey Matter other than the name..  

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
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