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Then you fire him. How much is that money worth for an inferior product? You make a mistake, you correct the mistake. If Team Jordan made a mistake, they didnt correct it, same as they didnt correct the books. 

 

Unfortunately, it is not that easy.

 

A couple of quick examples as to why:

 

1)  Brandon may have already been paid.  Do you just consider that money a loss?  Do you claw it back?  Do you spend more money on lawyers to claw it back?

 

2)  Financial and sales forecasts have already been setup around the assumption that the book will be sold according to deadline.  These numbers have been submitted to the bank.  Loans may have been made based on these numbers.  Investors may have invested based on these numbers.  It doesn't sound important to those outside the corporate world, but it is a big deal to mess stuff like this up.

 

You could go on and on with examples as to why it's difficult to just drop an author.  It's not impossible to drop the author and pick a new one, but it likely is a very difficult decision to make with serious outcomes.  The other question you need to ask is...was there anyone better out there that would have done this?  If you drop the author and lose money like this once...is it even financially worthwhile to spend money to finish the series?  Completing the series after a problem like this may not make financial sense - we don't know for sure, but it is possible.

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Then you fire him. How much is that money worth for an inferior product? You make a mistake, you correct the mistake. If Team Jordan made a mistake, they didnt correct it, same as they didnt correct the books. 

 

Unfortunately, it is not that easy.

 

A couple of quick examples as to why:

 

1)  Brandon may have already been paid.  Do you just consider that money a loss?  Do you claw it back?  Do you spend more money on lawyers to claw it back?

 

2)  Financial and sales forecasts have already been setup around the assumption that the book will be sold according to deadline.  These numbers have been submitted to the bank.  Loans may have been made based on these numbers.  Investors may have invested based on these numbers.  It doesn't sound important to those outside the corporate world, but it is a big deal to mess stuff like this up.

 

You could go on and on with examples as to why it's difficult to just drop an author.  It's not impossible to drop the author and pick a new one, but it likely is a very difficult decision to make with serious outcomes.  The other question you need to ask is...was there anyone better out there that would have done this?  If you drop the author and lose money like this once...is it even financially worthwhile to spend money to finish the series?  Completing the series after a problem like this may not make financial sense - we don't know for sure, but it is possible.

The same difficulties in dropping a Contractor.

 

I didn't say it would be easy, but I did say that it matters. If my passed wife (and yes I am a widow) had poured her heart and soul into writing books and it was left to me to hire someone to finish it, money wouldnt factor into it at all. NOT AT ALL. If the writer I had hired wasnt living up to my expectations and selling my wife's books short, he wouldnt be allowed to finish them. Even if that left me bankrupt and fighting it out in courts until my death bed.

 

 11 years later I still love my wife like I did when she was alive, her memory would be worth more than anything you just tossed out.

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@Suttree - *stubbornly stamps foot* I still don't like Eg, as a person. I strongly doubt we'd be friends (at least not after about tSR onwards, before that Eg was one of my favourite characters), but she is a good leader, it's many of the things that make her a good leader that make me doubt we'd be friends - I think RJ and BS have taken the lonely at the top thing extremely literally).

 

Honestly, I struggle (so it is a change) with the book split argument. I think I agree that RJ could have done it in 2, but at the expense of plot-arcs that I've really enjoyed. I think that when I looked up book lengths, if the 2 books were the same length as the longest you'd actually only need to cut about 1/2 of 1 of the 3 of them for BS to do the same and structurally this would work better, it might also have helped solve some of the flip-flopping Rand and Eg demonstrate in FoM if it had been written in sequence *shrugs*.

 

The problem with cutting significant amounts from the books that we have, is that the bits that you (and others) have identified as filler are some of the best written bits of the last 3 books, some rival the best bits in the series. Off the top of my head the 4 areas that are commonly stated as filler (feel free to say if their are more) are: Perrin in ToM, Nyns testing, Avi's Rhuidean and Mat's Hinderstrapp (sometimes Eg in tGS, although that argument disappeared when it turned out that a lot of that was RJ ;) I guess Eg in ToM could be included, although the Mesanna thing was set up by Verin in GS so..?). With the exception of Hinderstrap they represent some of the best writing that BS has done in these 3 books. I 'liked' Perrin and Faile as characters for the first time since tSR, I think the epilogue suggests that Nyn has developed more as a person under BS than RJ would have taken the time to do (in and of themselves they weren't bad things to happen, but takes stuff out of the book RJ could have written).

 

In a bit more detail regarding Perrin - I don't know how much was outlined to get him from rescuing Faile to FoM. If you think of the WC, they've been in the books a long time, but not played major parts. It's possible that they (in RJs possible version) would have been present somewhere, in the same way that the SF were present somewhere and therefore that entire section with Perrin could have been left out. But the section works quite well, it starts closing things that have been present since tEotW, I don't regret that at all and actually enjoyed it.

 

- It's also more likely that the Wolf-training would have been more or less left out (with a possible throw-away line (suggested by some posters as an explanation) about sleepless nights or something in a similar vein to Egs discovery of cuendillar) and it left to the reader to assume Perrins sudden mastery of the dream (not necessarily a better or worse way of doing it, but certainly shorter). But without all the time spent I would have remained indifferent to Perrin and Faile and had no sense of relief or joy when they found each other on the battlefield. 3 books ago it would have never, ever have happened (to a similar extent of the redemption of certain characters in GRRMs books were never, ever going to happen). Again it seems to me that the confrontation of Perrin and Lanfear has been set up since tDR with Mins warning about beautiful women, so at some stage the Dream had to be mastered.

 

I'll leave it here, in many ways I'm still digesting the last book. The 4 battlefronts has clearly been set up with the 4 generals since however many books ago, for this reason Mats absence is also expected for this early part of the Battle. I appear to be in the minority in really enjoying the different povs in the 'Last Battle' and seeing so many of the characters we've met over the past 14 books, so I'd actually object to cutting out 150 pages of it! (Of course if it had never been written, I wouldn't know to miss it).

 

 

So like I said mixed thoughts...

 

 

EDIT: part of this posted while I was still working on it a few posts before...

Edited by BFG

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@Suttree - *stubbornly stamps foot* I still don't like Eg, as a person. I strongly doubt we'd be friends (at least not after about tSR onwards, before that Eg was one of my favourite characters), but she is a good leader, it's many of the things that make her a good leader that make me doubt we'd be friends - I think RJ and BS have taken the lonely at the top thing extremely literally).

 

Honestly, I struggle (so it is a change) with the book split argument. I think I agree that RJ could have done it in 2, but at the expense of plot-arcs that I've really enjoyed. I think that when I looked up book lengths, if the 2 books were the same length as the longest you'd actually only need to cut about 1/2 of 1 of the 3 of them for BS to do the same and structurally this would work better, it might also have helped solve some of the flip-flopping Rand and Eg demonstrate in FoM if it had been written in sequence *shrugs*.

 

The problem with cutting significant amounts from the books that we have, is that the bits that you (and others) have identified as filler are some of the best written bits of the last 3 books, some rival the best bits in the series. Off the top of my head the 4 areas that are commonly stated as filler (feel free to say if their are more) are: Perrin in ToM, Nyns testing, Avi's Rhuidean and Mat's Hinderstrapp (sometimes Eg in tGS, although that argument disappeared when it turned out that a lot of that was RJ ;) I guess Eg in ToM could be included, although the Mesanna thing was set up by Verin in GS so..?). With the exception of Hinderstrap they represent some of the best writing that BS has done in these 3 books. I 'liked' Perrin and Faile as characters for the first time since tSR, I think the epilogue suggests that Nyn has developed more as a person under BS than RJ would have taken the time to do (in and of themselves they weren't bad things to happen, but takes stuff out of the book RJ could have written).

 

In a bit more detail regarding Perrin - I don't know how much was outlined to get him from rescuing Faile to FoM. If you think of the WC, they've been in the books a long time, but not played major parts. It's possible that they (in RJs possible version) would have been present somewhere, in the same way that the SF were present somewhere and therefore that entire section with Perrin could have been left out. But the section works quite well, it starts closing things that have been present since tEotW, I don't regret that at all and actually enjoyed it.

 

- It's also more likely that the Wolf-training would have been more or less left out (with a possible throw-away line (suggested by some posters as an explanation) about sleepless nights or something in a similar vein to Egs discovery of cuendillar) and it left to the reader to assume Perrins sudden mastery of the dream (not necessarily a better or worse way of doing it, but certainly shorter). But without all the time spent I would have remained indifferent to Perrin and Faile and had no sense of relief or joy when they found each other on the battlefield. 3 books ago it would have never, ever have happened (to a similar extent of the redemption of certain characters in GRRMs books were never, ever going to happen). Again it seems to me that the confrontation of Perrin and Lanfear has been set up since tDR with Mins warning about beautiful women, so at some stage the Dream had to be mastered.

 

I'll leave it here, in many ways I'm still digesting the last book. The 4 battlefronts has clearly been set up with the 4 generals since however many books ago, for this reason Mats absence is also expected for this early part of the Battle. I appear to be in the minority in really enjoying the different povs in the 'Last Battle' and seeing so many of the characters we've met over the past 14 books, so I'd actually object to cutting out 150 pages of it! (Of course if it had never been written, I wouldn't know to miss it).

 

 

So like I said mixed thoughts...

 I dont understand how you can say RJ could have done it in two books.

 

How many books did Perrin wander around and accomplishing almost nothing? If we had gotten two books I would have been utterly and entirely disappointed with the series. Look at all the complaining now about threads not being finished? To do it in two books, in RJ flourishing style, we would get the last battle.

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@Flinn

 

RJ was very concise when he needed to be, we see it through various parts of the series. People like Mr Ares have touched on it but Sanderson's "tell don't show" style added a good deal of bloat. He also seemed unable to use literary devices like ellipsis to advance the action(something that RJ was very skilled at). RJ could convery much more info in much less time, especially when he wasn't in "set up" mode. Bottom line there wasn't enough material for three books in the notes, hence the filler and constant back and forth with characters like Egwene and Perrin advancing and then regressing again. Space was not used wisely. Brandon didn't want the books to be split which when combined with the material we have seen really tells you all you need to know.

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Then you fire him. How much is that money worth for an inferior product? You make a mistake, you correct the mistake. If Team Jordan made a mistake, they didnt correct it, same as they didnt correct the books. 

 

Unfortunately, it is not that easy.

 

A couple of quick examples as to why:

 

1)  Brandon may have already been paid.  Do you just consider that money a loss?  Do you claw it back?  Do you spend more money on lawyers to claw it back?

 

2)  Financial and sales forecasts have already been setup around the assumption that the book will be sold according to deadline.  These numbers have been submitted to the bank.  Loans may have been made based on these numbers.  Investors may have invested based on these numbers.  It doesn't sound important to those outside the corporate world, but it is a big deal to mess stuff like this up.

 

You could go on and on with examples as to why it's difficult to just drop an author.  It's not impossible to drop the author and pick a new one, but it likely is a very difficult decision to make with serious outcomes.  The other question you need to ask is...was there anyone better out there that would have done this?  If you drop the author and lose money like this once...is it even financially worthwhile to spend money to finish the series?  Completing the series after a problem like this may not make financial sense - we don't know for sure, but it is possible.

The same difficulties in dropping a Contractor.

 

I didn't say it would be easy, but I did say that it matters. If my passed wife (and yes I am a widow) had poured her heart and soul into writing books and it was left to me to hire someone to finish it, money wouldnt factor into it at all. NOT AT ALL. If the writer I had hired wasnt living up to my expectations and selling my wife's books short, he wouldnt be allowed to finish them. Even if that left me bankrupt and fighting it out in courts until my death bed.

 

 11 years later I still love my wife like I did when she was alive, her memory would be worth more than anything you just tossed out.

 

Dude...Harriet doesn't own TOR books and cant make any decisions for them.  She may have tried to fire Brandon and was basically told she can't.  That is entierly plausible.  It sucks, and I agree with what you're saying...but its not realistic to assume she can just fire him at her whim after he's written a full draft.

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@Flinn - if I'm being pernickety I'd say that I'm only saying that he could have not that he necessarily would have. And although I agree that Perrin spent books chasing after Faile, their wasn't actually that much screen time on it. The problem the middle books had was that the characters had all scattered and were having their own adventures. This takes more space. BS had the same problem at the neginning of his 3. RJ dealt with it by spreading the story out over 2 or more books and ended up with huge pacing problems within the individual books (which could possibly have been helped with tighter editing, maybe). BS split the characters (as did GRRM for his books with a similar problem, although it worked better there as few of the characters interacted with each other) and ended up with structural and timeline issues. I don't think I've read a long-running fantasy epic (with multiple main characters) that's figured out how to do it well yet.

 

@Sutt - I'm now reading Gardens of the Moon on your advice, it better be good :)

 

EDIT: @Mark D - that's twice in 2 days that we agree on something *faints* :)

Edited by BFG

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Dude...Harriet doesn't own TOR books and cant make any decisions for them.  She may have tried to fire Brandon and was basically told she can't.  That is entierly plausible.  It sucks, and I agree with what you're saying...but its not realistic to assume she can just fire him at her whim after he's written a full draft.

 

 

Not to mention how terrible it is for your publishing rep...

 

To just drop an author(any author) in the middle of a project, for reasons of writing quality, while under contract - For the sake of argument let's say the contract doesn't include some sort of out, like if such and such happens, where Tor could buy him out and cut their losses(that sort of thing); as though it were similar to dismissing an athlete for poor performance...

 

I guess I'm trying to say it raises the serious issue of wrongful dismissal, as well as defamation - which in itself is difficult to prove, but if you're literally firing someone for perceived poor performance, while sales figures indicate the opposite, than it's not hard at all to grasp plausibility of a tarnished reputation.

 

Noting that, if as a publisher, you were to give someone the axe in such a manner, that doesn't really put you in any sort of favorable light, at all, as far as being able to attract, or retain, clientele let alone how many legal headaches could/would ensue.

 

And, to say that money wouldn't be a factor at all, you have to consider the long term ramifications of your own realpolitik; That money might not matter to you personally, as far as establishing a lasting legacy, or memorializing a lost love, but in return you'd essentially be screwing over a whole bunch of people: Your publisher, everyone who works for them, their future ability to conduct business, the livelihood's lost because the organization that's backed you for over 2 decades would be forced to undergo extended legal proceedings, tarnishing the reputations of all parties involved...

 

 

It would seem as though Harriet & Team Jordan placed their faith in an author for all the good intentions in the world. That does not excuse the inability of the author himself to actually put forth his best effort & arrive at his own best talent infused outcomes, across the spectrum of his final work. At the same time, it's not right to vilify Team Jordan, and Harriet, when the responsibility for the quality of writing itself rests on the shoulders of one brandon sanderson.

 

 

In other words, Sanderson received a gift, from those acting in good faith who believed he had what it takes. The end result does not reflect, in all aspects, the authors perceived ability as a writer - as cited by others who may have read his other works, or by those of us who witness the raving inconsistency between scenes that display what should have been prevalent throughout.

 

Consider also the extended process, of at least two months, used for 'extra polish,' and so forth...and witness the end result.

 

Now, if the entire editing team took all of that extra time, for that specifically expressed task for 'getting it right' and for 'extra polish, and the AMoL we have is what we ended up with...What does that allow you to infer about the quality of Sanderson's final manuscript, considering the additional editorial effort?

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@Sutt - I'm now reading Gardens of the Moon on your advice, it better be good :)

 

Be advised that series turns into a sprawling mess. A glorious one, but a mess nevertheless.

 

Have you read Rothfuss or Bakker?

 

On the topic of dropping Sanderson, no way that could ever happen. Tor has way too much tied up in developing him as their next super star. They need Stormlight Archive to do well.

 

Now, if the entire editing team took all of that extra time, for that specifically expressed task for 'getting it right' and for 'extra polish, and the AMoL we have is what we ended up with...What does that allow you to infer about the quality of Sanderson's final manuscript, considering the additional editorial effort?

This.

Edited by Suttree

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Some interesting comments on Reddit:

 

Brandon: You're right on the Black Tower structural weakness. I actually plotted that sequence to go all in Towers of Midnight, but ran up against deadlines and only did a few chapters of it. It would work far better moved earlier.

 

I agree with Brandon that the BT sequence would have worked better in ToM. I also appreciate that he's willing to discuss these things with fans and admit mistakes, but finding out how badly everything was planned is depressing. Deadlines should not have decided where the BT sequence ended up.

 

Unfortunately it's a lose-lose for them. If they slow down and take the time to do it right, people get upset that the release date gets changed. 

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I think it's unfair to put all of the blame on Brandon, regardless of whether or not his name is on the book.  This is a special circumstance; you have a new author jumping into the deep end to complete someone else's story that was developed over 20 years.

 

By definition, this scenario requires a hell of a lot more responsibility from the editors, particularly those editors that are in charge of consistency.

 

If you have a problem with prose, tell vs. show, quality of the writing -- I think that's something you blame on the author.  An editor cannot be expected to re-write entire passages because of quality issues.  (Perhaps they can request the author take another stab at it.)

 

If you have a problem with characters not acting like themselves, inconsistencies within the plot, etc -- I think you blame this on the editors.

 

But like I've said a few times, I expected both of the above (more the latter than the former) and it didn't ruin my over-all enjoyment of the story.

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Fair enough, Demandred.

 

Did anybody else think the openly gay characters was a touch pandering?

I very much dislike the way of explicitly tell the readers , " one of the characters in the book are gay " . I think that that´s cementing the role "gay"as something that is averting from the norm instead of taking it for granted , plus it stinks of fan gratification.

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Editors are the weak link in the fantasy world. Successful authors create fanatical nerd bases who'll buy their stuff. So it becomes very difficult to rein them in. Jordan was an example, Martin is currently the leading light after the godawful Dance, and Sanderson is kind of lost in the woodwork because while he's not really that successful, he's the next big thing in Tor's stable

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Speaking of editors/changes to Jordan's pre-written stuff (were we speaking of that?)  I seem to recall some interview, somewhere, long ago, where Jordan said the last word of the series was going to be "time."

 

Anyone think the "but it was AN ending" line at the end of the book was something added after the fact, and that the actual last sentence that Jordan envisioned was the "there are neither beginnings nor endings to the Wheel of Time"

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i like that line, i might write it in haha or white out the other part.  i dont have the book and cant see

Edited by jwillis7

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Ultimately I think the quality of the writing, the pacing, the countless inconsistencies in everything from characters's thoughts to numbers of troops and channelers (and their abilities) , the lack of emotional weight, the lack of subtlety, the tossing aside of world building, the lack of internal monologue to show us the reasons behind the actions that are described to us, amongst countless other things - all in all reflect that from a writing perspective these final three books were appallingly bad.  That said, I feel like I shouldn't have expected much more - Sanderson may be a decent writer in his own work, but being tasked with taking years to finish the work of another man who was a better author than you and spent 20 years developing his story is next to impossible to get right.  

 

I'm just glad we got the ending, and from the point of view of having closure on the series, I was able to enjoy the series for what it was, quality issues aside.   I found that I read these books a lot faster than I did RJ's volumes, mainly because the subtlety and consistency wasn't there to have me holding on to and analyzing the relevance of every line and thought and action.  It was more just, get the general gist of the event, flesh out how I think it it really should have gone in my head based on everything Jordan told us about the characters, their motivations, their numbers, their abilities, and move on to find out how it ends.   I probably will rarely, if ever, reread Sanderson's volumes but I will always go back to books 4-6 and cherish them knowing the general feel of how things were supposed to end. 

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I am not sure what to say, yes there were inconsistencies but i think BS is underrated myself.

 

Personal feelings, and i appreciate i may be inviting flames- hopefully though i wont as i mean no disrespect to anyone.

 

RJ- Started well, very well indeed and opened me up to a new genre (fantasy). But when i slogged slowly, painfully, excruciatingly through 700 pages of people sitting around discussing what happened in the last book, endless people sniffing at each other, excruciating descriptions of dresses and no plot movement i drew the conclusion the series was NEVER going to end and that it was going to be a cash cow of 70 books...especially as a million and one characters where then introduced!!.

 

I actually stopped reading the series...ironically when i started again knife of dreams was a bit better.

 

BS- Yes he has inconsistancies, but things actually moved forward, i think he was very much constrained, by harriet, by jordans notes, by fanatical RJ fans who would seize on anything they didnt think RJ would write. Under those circumstances, i feel he did a fab job.

 

 

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@trev

 

You seem to be comparing vastly different points in the story arc. Of course things are going to move forward when all of the plot threads start wrapping up. It is not some inherent skill that Brandon has and as you said it actually started during KoD. Further while things had gotten away from RJ by CoT the writing quality never dropped as it does in the TGS-AMoL stretch even in the slowest chapters. Those chapters were also filled with foreshadowing, set up and little immersive details. The books don't suffer nearly as much when you can read them straight through. It will be interesting to see how skilled Brandon as at "moving forward" when we see him at a comparitive plac to CoT(something that has given Martin trouble as well) in his own Stormlight series. Only then will we know where he stands in this department.

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I am not sure what to say, yes there were inconsistencies but i think BS is underrated myself. Personal feelings, and i appreciate i may be inviting flames- hopefully though i wont as i mean no disrespect to anyone. RJ- Started well, very well indeed and opened me up to a new genre (fantasy). But when i slogged slowly, painfully, excruciatingly through 700 pages of people sitting around discussing what happened in the last book, endless people sniffing at each other, excruciating descriptions of dresses and no plot movement i drew the conclusion the series was NEVER going to end and that it was going to be a cash cow of 70 books...especially as a million and one characters where then introduced!!. I actually stopped reading the series...ironically when i started again knife of dreams was a bit better. BS- Yes he has inconsistancies, but things actually moved forward, i think he was very much constrained, by harriet, by jordans notes, by fanatical RJ fans who would seize on anything they didnt think RJ would write. Under those circumstances, i feel he did a fab job.

We see that argument a lot but I don't see how it's relevant. This is the ending, What else was going to happen? I could have written the book and the plot would have moved at a fast pace. You would not even use the book to put under your cup of coffee but things would have moved forward. I don't understand how that has much to do with the quality of the book considering where the series are.

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The relevance is that BS picked up a series with far too many characters and far too many plotlines and with a number of restrictions (fan wishes, limit on book numbers and pages). I personally think that has to be taken into account when looking at the last three books.

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I think BS needed more time to finish these books. +-3 years arent enought 

 

Damn you was faster :-D 

 

 

trev1972
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Posted Today, 08:20 PM

The relevance is that BS picked up a series with far too many characters and far too many plotlines and with a number of restrictions (fan wishes, limit on book numbers and pages). I personally think that has to be taken into account when looking at the last three books.
Edited by Kudlak

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Limit on books? He didn't think they should be split and now the we have seen the bloat and filler in these three we know he was absolutely right. The space he did have was not used wisely and fan wishes played no role whatsoever in any of it. Look no one is saying this wasn't a diffiult job, don't think anyone is calling that into question. That doesn't change the anything in relation to the various issues with how this was finished.

 

@Kud

 

You are correct there. The worst thing they could have possibly done is rush the series the way they did. It makes me sick that structure was actually based on deadlines not what was best for the series.

Edited by Suttree

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The relevance is that BS picked up a series with far too many characters and far too many plotlines and with a number of restrictions (fan wishes, limit on book numbers and pages). I personally think that has to be taken into account when looking at the last three books.

Ah, but all those different plotlines were about to be concluded after KoD, so the increasing pace was a given. RJ or BS or another writer, things were going to get a lot faster. That was not something Brandon brought to the series. He just came at the right time. I totally agree it would be an extremely hard job to conclude them and piece all of them together for anyone. But that is most definitely not the same thing.

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