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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
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@Vambram

 

Team Jordan specifically changed Brandon's writing process to deal with the unpolished prose. It's fine if it didn't bother you but it's the reality of the situation.

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I totally agree with Suttree on this one. Brandon was actually embraced BEFORE he had even written TGS. Mainly due to - and to his credit - his efforts to warmly and freely communicate with the WOT fanbase. We could SEE how devoted he was. How honest he was. What a FAN he, too, was.

 

And then TGS was released...and, you know what? In retrospect, I STILL feel like TGS was a pretty fair book. It had some imperfections and we all know the Mat Situation, but, overall, it was a tight, focused first effort and I still like it to a certain extent. And, after many people felt similarly positive about it, the praise for him REALLY went through the roof.

 

Then...for me, at least. it all fell apart with contradictory statements and missed timelines regarding TOM. When I actually READ TOM I felt shocked that such a messy, sprawling disaster was actually published. Dreamspikes and Cutsey-Poo Sandersonisms were the LEAST of my problems with the book.

 

Jason Denzel himself destroyed the book - accidentally publically. When AMOL was read by yours truly, all I could do was wish all the time spent on Lord Golden and Master Crimson's zany antics, pet characters like Andol, silly letters and pointless Horn Delivery Storylines had been deleted and those pages used to add depth to many scenes fans had been waiting years for.

 

I am still willing to credit many things Brandon Sanderson can do well. He is excellent at communicating with fans. He is very proficient. He will battle for anissue he feels fans are right about - like the E-Book situation. I LOVED the way he wrote Galad and Faile.

 

But, the negatives grew to be such a significant list that my overall impression of his handling of the end of the series will always leave me with a VERY sour taste in my mouth. And its sad. I wanted more than ANYTHING for him to hit a home run with AMOL.

 

 

Fish

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I still think my biggest disappoint was that the release date for A Memory of Light got pushed back out of December 2012.  To release the Last Book of the Wheel of Time, a series several decades in the writing, on the day that the Mayan long-count calendar ended would have been a marketing move some millenia in the making...  :rolleyes:  Alas, it was not to be.

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Vambram, it is not that he could not be as good as RJ. What I wonder is, why did Brandon not take advantage of all the help readily available to him? Why did this sense of ''we just want this thing FINISHED!'' seem to pervade? Why were corrections from Betas dismissed? Why is he now refusing to answer direct questions when the man promised he would be ''much more free'' to answer RAFOS after AMOL was released? Why did Brandon...obut I could ''Why?'' all day...

 

I never expected or WANTED Brandon Sanderson to be ''as good'' as Jordan. I wanted Sanderson to take the resources, steps, attitude and time needed to make AMOL as good as BRANDON could have done.

 

Everyone keeps saying how ''good a writer we know Brandon is'' - and I have yet to see it. Ihave read thru WOK and some of his other stuff and he makes David Eddings look like a serious, professional master of fantasy. Brandon's 'humor'' and dialogue makes me cringe. It is beyond silly and juvenile. His descriptivness and handling of prose seem like a very inexperienced writer. The ''jokes'' he has his characters tell remind me of 10 year-old boys telling fart jokes! This is a manthat will be turning FORTY ina few years!!!

 

Maybe Ijust don't understand who Sanderson's target audience is. It sure isn't me and in hindsight the fact that a young, northern, nonmilitary guy was chosen to write the end of this epic based on a EULOGY blows me away more and more. Hell, people HERE wrote lovely eulogies! Maybe I should have finished it. Or Jason. Or Mr Ares.

 

Martin writes ''R'' rates stuff. I like that. Jordan wrote PG 13 - I like that. ... Sanderson seems to write G  to PG...I HATE that.

 

I hate silly, banter between characters and comic book type weapons.

 

He is not my cup of tea and I am saddened beyond measure that he was the choice to finish my WOT.

 

JMHO

 

 

Fish

Edited by The Fisher King

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@Vambram

 

Team Jordan specifically changed Brandon's writing process to deal with the unpolished prose. It's fine if it didn't bother you but it's the reality of the situation.

I think that any changes Team Jordan made with Brandon was attempting to get him to write in a manner more similar to RJ's style.

 

After reading the Mistborn trilogy and Elantris before I read TGS, I can honestly say that Brandon does not publish unpolished prose.

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<p>Vambram, it is not that he could not be as good as RJ. What I wonder is, why did Brandon not take advantage of all the help readily available to him? Why did this sense of ''we just want this thing FINISHED!'' seem to pervade? Why were corrections from Betas dismissed? Why is he now refusing to answer direct questions when the man promised he would be ''much more free'' to answer RAFOS after AMOL was released? Why did Brandon...eh, I could ''Why?'' all day...</p>

<p> </p>

<p>I never expected or WANTED Brandon Sanderson to be ''as good'' as Jordan. I wanted Sanderson to take the resources, steps, attitude and time needed to make AMOL as good as BRANDON could have done.</p>

<p> </p>

<p>Everyone keeps saying how ''good a writer we know Brandon is'' - and I have yet to see it. Ihave read thru WOK and some of his other stuff and he makes David Eddings look like a serious, professional master of fantasy. Brandon's 'humor'' and dialogue makes me cringe. It is beyond silly and juvenile. His descriptivness and handling of prose seem like a very inexperienced writer. The ''jokes'' he has his characters tell remind me of 10 year-old boys telling fart jokes! This is a man that will be turning FORTY ina few years!!!</p>

<p> </p>

<p>Maybe I just don't understand who Sanderson's target audience is. It sure isn't me and in hindsight the fact that a young, northern, nonmilitary guy was chosen to write the end of this epic based on a EULOGY blows me away more and more. Hell, people HERE wrote lovely eulogies! Maybe I should have finished it. Or Jason. Or Mr Ares.</p>

<p> </p>

<p>Martin writes ''R'' rates stuff. I like that. Jordan wrote PG 13 - I like that. ... Sanderson seems to write G  to PG...I HATE that.</p>

<p> </p>

<p>I hate silly, banter between characters and comic book type weapons.</p>

<p> </p>

<p>He is not my cup of tea and I am saddened beyond measure that he was the choice to finish my WOT.</p>

<p> </p>

<p>JMHO</p>

If that is how you truly feel concerning Brandon's very own books, then nothing anyone says would change your mind about him. I completely disagree with your opinion.

 

 

However, who would you have chosen to be the author to finish the WOT series?

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By the way, with all of the criticisms regarding the Dreamspikes, do we know whether or not that ter`angreal was something which RJ himself created and made reference to in his notes?

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@Vambram

 

Team Jordan specifically changed Brandon's writing process to deal with the unpolished prose. It's fine if it didn't bother you but it's the reality of the situation.

I think that any changes Team Jordan made with Brandon was attempting to get him to write in a manner more similar to RJ's style.

We don't have to think about it. They flat out told us it had to do with adding polish to his prose.

 

I grant you Mistborn is more polished, Elantris though was just rough all around. Sanderson doesn't really stand up to the top tier of fantasy writers(Bakker, Rothfuss, Erikson) when it comes to prose and he freely admits that.

 

Edit: RJ had in his notes that there were ways to disrupt travelling during the War of Power. Brandon came up with the name and how it worked.

Edited by Suttree

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Suttree, who would you have chosen to finish the Wheel of Time after James Oliver Rigney's untimely passing away? Remember, the author had to be someone who would have been willing to do so, and who was also not already tied down to writing his own series (which would have disqualified Bakker, Rothfuss, and Erikson for they were already committed to writing and finishing their own fantasy series.)

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<p>Vambram, it is not that he could not be as good as RJ. What I wonder is, why did Brandon not take advantage of all the help readily available to him? Why did this sense of ''we just want this thing FINISHED!'' seem to pervade? Why were corrections from Betas dismissed? Why is he now refusing to answer direct questions when the man promised he would be ''much more free'' to answer RAFOS after AMOL was released? Why did Brandon...eh, I could ''Why?'' all day...</p>

<p> </p>

<p>I never expected or WANTED Brandon Sanderson to be ''as good'' as Jordan. I wanted Sanderson to take the resources, steps, attitude and time needed to make AMOL as good as BRANDON could have done.</p>

<p> </p>

<p>Everyone keeps saying how ''good a writer we know Brandon is'' - and I have yet to see it. Ihave read thru WOK and some of his other stuff and he makes David Eddings look like a serious, professional master of fantasy. Brandon's 'humor'' and dialogue makes me cringe. It is beyond silly and juvenile. His descriptivness and handling of prose seem like a very inexperienced writer. The ''jokes'' he has his characters tell remind me of 10 year-old boys telling fart jokes! This is a man that will be turning FORTY ina few years!!!</p>

<p> </p>

<p>Maybe I just don't understand who Sanderson's target audience is. It sure isn't me and in hindsight the fact that a young, northern, nonmilitary guy was chosen to write the end of this epic based on a EULOGY blows me away more and more. Hell, people HERE wrote lovely eulogies! Maybe I should have finished it. Or Jason. Or Mr Ares.</p>

<p> </p>

<p>Martin writes ''R'' rates stuff. I like that. Jordan wrote PG 13 - I like that. ... Sanderson seems to write G  to PG...I HATE that.</p>

<p> </p>

<p>I hate silly, banter between characters and comic book type weapons.</p>

<p> </p>

<p>He is not my cup of tea and I am saddened beyond measure that he was the choice to finish my WOT.</p>

<p> </p>

<p>JMHO</p>

If that is how you truly feel concerning Brandon's very own books, then nothing anyone says would change your mind about him. I completely disagree with your opinion.

 

 

However, who would you have chosen to be the author to finish the WOT series?

Nonsense! Plenty of things could have changed my mind! I doubt those things will ever come to pass in such a way as to pass MY judgment, though.

 

You say you ''completely'' disagree - please tell me HOW you disagree? Do you disagree that Brandonlikes rather silly dialogue and humor? Do you not agree that he really likes comic book type weapons and terms? Or that he seems to shy away from some of the more grim and serious subjects that Jordan indulged in?

 

As to who I would have had finish it...that is a loaded question and I would never presume to come off as someone who though themselves worthy of opining on who should have such an august duty.

 

 

Fish

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Fisher King;

 

I disagree with everyone of your criticisms in post #1140 regarding Brandon Sanderson's writing.

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The series could have easily been finished in two books, it didn't need to be 3.

 

If there were going to be so many nods to fan theories in the book, it would have been great if more time had been spent on fleshing out answers to bigger questions and mysteries from the series, not stuff like "who was a better swordsman, Gawyn Galad or Lan".

 

I was disappointed, but not surprised, at how many things were wrapped up or resolved in a very short amount of space as compared to how long was spent building them up. In this though, I push a lot of the blame onto RJ. RJ did many things great, but I always hated how long he spent on filler material in some of his plot threads and how long he spent building some things up only to have them sputter out in very brief resolutions, and this I think carried over into his notes that BS worked from. I know many will disagree with that part, but it's just my opinion (and mostly applies to his post-LOC books).

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Suttree, who would you have chosen to finish the Wheel of Time after James Oliver Rigney's untimely passing away? Remember, the author had to be someone who would have been willing to do so, and who was also not already tied down to writing his own series (which would have disqualified Bakker, Rothfuss, and Erikson for they were already committed to writing and finishing their own fantasy series.)

That's a tough one and you're correct none of those other authors would have been pulled away from their own work. As Stephen Donaldson so bluntly told us many authors wouldn't even consider doing such a thing.

Bryan Jones: I have read both yours and Robert Jordans books(and many others) and enjoy reading them completely. As a reader I am confused by your denial to read Jordan. When I found out that Jordan was going to pass away without finishing his last book leaving his lagecy unfinished I was saddened. When I found out they were looking for an author to finish his books I was surprised that you were not first on the list. Is there an anamosity between you and Jordan? I think you would be the first and only author that could do justice to the Wheel of Time. Would there be any way for you to be a part of the developement of the last book? It will be a shame for a story to end horribly when I know that you could make the ending book the best it could be.

I am sorry if I offend you by asking this question. I mean no offense. I am trying to understand why the only choice for ending Jordan's saga with the very best author isn't being done. Isn't the story the most important thing? blank.gif Stephen Donaldson I can't answer a message like this. It's a bit like asking, "Why haven't you stopped beating your wife?" There are so many underlying--and unwarrented--assumptions that no answer is possible.

 

Just one example. Why do you think that I would consider giving up my own work for the sake of someone else's? Does that sound reasonable to you?

 

But I'm posting this because I want to make a more general point. I wouldn't agree to work with someone else's characters, settings, themes, or stories, even if you held a gun to my head. That's what hacks are for. (Don't get me wrong. Being a hack can be a perfectly honorable profession. It simply isn't *my* profession.) Now, if you held a gun to the head of someone I love, I would naturally agree to anything. But I would be lying. Unashamedly. Stalling for time until I could take a whack at you. The very idea of trying to do someone else's work fills me with existential nausea.

Also keep in mind it most likely had to be a Tor author. Brandon has been groomed to be their next big star and that had a huge amount to do with the decision as well. So if you narrow it down to people on their roster I always thought J.V. Jones would have done an excellent job from a writing perspective. Although she has had issues with deadlines in her own work so that could have been an issue.

 

To be clear I think Brandon has done some things very well. His work has just been far too uneven and riddled with mistakes to say he has done a great job. Again people can point out the obvious flaws while still being thankful to him for stepping up and taking on this difficult task.

Edited by Suttree

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Overall I loved this book and though it was very well done.  It was a huge improvement over TOM and I'm glad Team Jordan took the extra time to get it right.  The only major problem I had with this book and maybe the series a a whole was the Paden Fain arc, BIGGEST ANTI-CLIMAX EVER!!!  Otherwise, I really did like the way the series ended.

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Was beyond disgusted with the choice of adjetives in dialogue and mental monologues used..

 

If I never see ''downright, mighty, rightly, lad or son or Light'' again, I will scream.

 

When he started writing Mat as a Country BUMPKIN at times (TOM and AMOL CH 11 just as two examples) it was almost too much. Yes, they are from The Two Rivers which is backwoods country....but they're NOT characters on HEE HAW or The Beverly Hillbilies.

 

Theres actually a Mat section thats like:

 

All Mat could think was BLESS the lad! Light BLESS him! Now, that was a downright charitable thought, but Mat was rightly in a mighty fine mood and disposed to be kindly folks today. Folks were mighty fine folks in Mat's view and downright rightly fine folks was how Mat rightly saw them. Bless Tuon, wait till he showed her how mighty fine folkd here in Randland could be! She'd change her ways - Light she would - and see what mighty fine folks everyone was. Bless them!

 

Ok...I exagerated - but not by much!

 

 

Fish

 

 

Too funny LOL!! But I know what you mean. One of the things that really stuck out to me were the Americanisms that crept into the dialogue, eg. to describe Autumn as 'The Fall'.

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I think it is important to remember when bashing Brandon that he worked with Harriet and Team Jordan very very closely on these novels. Harriet has acknowledged that it was her responsibility to take Brandon's writing and "meld" it to fit RJ's writing style and to follow his purposes for the characters. It was not easy for Brandon to write these three lengthy books not just because it was a huge amount of work but he also had constant oversite and editing of every word and every arc he wrote. These last three books were a team effort and the people closest to RJ were guiding it all of the way. I would never have taken this job and most writers wouldn't have taken it on either. Brandon was allowed virtually no creativity in this work. I am a fan who is very happy to have these final books. I can see other ways this tale could have ended but the way it was designed by this group of RJ intimates to complete the tale is satisfying for me. I accept this is not true for all.

Is there a quote from Brandon on how he had virtually no creativity allowed? Look how he handled the Black tower arc he made Androl the preeminent Ashaman and he nerfed Logain. I think he probably had more creative leeway than you think. 

 

Most writers would not have taken it on? I can see why a writer would turn down finishing the series if offered. It would be a huge undertaking and would require a lot of work to tie up all the threads properly. But I can also see the upside, a potential author could make a lot of money finishing this series, and their name would also be attached to one of the biggest fantasy series of all time. A potential author could also easily open up millions of readers to their own books by finishing the series. I suppose we really don't know, I don't think that anyone else was offered the job before Brandon was chosen.

 

Also even if he did have people peeking over his shoulder the quality of the books are still his responsibility,  his name is going on the book cover not team Jordans.

I have heard said many times by Brandon and Harriet in interviews that the last three books were a team effort. Harriet edited all of RJ's books. She is an expert on his style and she knew where he wanted the series to go and how it should end. She edited and reviewed everything Brandon wrote and prevailed in many cases in modifying what he wrote. They discuss this in interviews so no I don't think he simply had a couple of random people peeking over his shoulder. It has also been stated by Harriet and Brandon that he left notes as to the fate of many of the characters and Brandon had to build the story so those fates were relaized. As for whether any other author would take on this gargantuan job of completing the series with 200 pages written and notes provided, IMHO it is unlikely. Why should a noted author such as Erikson, GRRM, or others of like caliber want to finish another man's work when have their own excellent stories to tell? IMO we were lucky to get Brandon who while not in the same category as RJ, GRRM and Erikson at least had wriiten a critically acclaimed trilogy and was a Professor of writing at a renouned university.

 

Some questions and answers from two recent book signings that support that it was a tem effort.

 

Lexington, KY Signing Report

Posted by Maji on Jan 17 2013 07:40 PM under in A Memory of Light   

 

Question: What was Brandon given to start his work?

Answer: He received one scene from each prologue--the first scene from The Gathering Storm that was dictated, the Kandori tower scene from Towers of Midnight, and one scene from A Memory of Light that I will not state since it contains a spoiler. There were large chunks of the ending, including the entire epilogue. He received fragments of Egwene’s visit from her “special visitor” in TGS, and a proposal at the end of ToM. There were also discussions of scenes, and answers from Team Jordan.          

Either my hand was cramping up or I missed a segue, but somehow a discussion of Brandon’s writing style commenced. He stated that he works from an outline, and that Robert Jordan grew and nurtured scenes over time. Brandon did not try to imitate Robert Jordan’s writing style, and left the blending of the two writing styles up to Harriet. Harriet was Tor Books’ original editor, discovering Mr. Rigney and editing the two best-selling series in the sci-fi/fantasy genre. Harriet was in charge of blending the voices together.

 

Chicago A Memory of Light Signing Memory Keeper Report

Posted by Jhirrad on Jan 15 2013 07:15 AM under in A Memory of Light

 

Q: Is there a character you took in a different direction from what Jordan had intended?

A: In terms of a character, and what would happen to them ultimately, no, not really. However, there were times when some things had to be adjusted, specifically some plot points, in order to make the narrative as a whole flow better. Brandon did mention that he wanted a character that he felt was his own, which he got to do the most development on. That character became Androl. A lot of what Androl did were things which Jordan said had to happen. Brandon picked Androl to do them, and gave the character his own touch more than any other.

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Women... somewhere down the road I began to realize there is something wrong with how Jordan addresses women in his story. They are not world shapers. This takes some explanation as I believe people get a little short sighted whenever this argument is made. To be a world shaper a person must plan, execute, and accomplish their plan while in turn others must be able and willing to glorify their attempts. This is not something I have yet to see happen with a female character in fantasy. Especially true with Jordan and Sanderson. I'm not saying I have hatred here, but I do feel deeply disappointed. Men in Wheel of Time shape the world. They make plans, they execute those plans, and for good or ill people acknowledge their -accomplishments- and set similar goals for themselves. With women, this is not the case. Women forged the White Tower, but it it was through entropy and its sheer persistence that it remained. Yes, the persistence could speak of its power (and actually does) but it is not the same as glorifying the one single woman or group of women who set it in motion. There is nothing in Wheel of Time except for Latra Posae Decume... whom I personally believe was Edgwene in the current age. Of Decume, all we can really say she is remembered for is preventing Lews Therin from accomplishing his strike at the Dark One.

Latra Posae is also remembered for leading the fight against the Shadow for forty years, and is remembered as a hero. As are several Amyrlins. Egwene, Moiraine and Cadsuane all fit your description as well. Nynaeve's methods of Healing are becoming more widely known, and improved upon. Elayne is in the process - she has wrought change on Andor, and desires to bring more, and it is likely only due to how short her reign has been thus far that she is not more widely lauded and emulated.

Then there is Lanfear... if ever a character deserved redemption it is her. But Jordan lathers this character with persistent, unexplained scorn. Why? She finds the Bore? People hated her for that but she wasn't looking for it. She didn't even turn to the Shadow until it was obvious there was no salvation for herself in the Light. If need to question this to think of what happened to her Aiel servant. We can be sure she was cast out as, if not cause, prime among the reasons the Shadow ever touched the world. What more would we expect of a terrified, blame seeking populous than to scorn her? Her turn to the Shadow was one of the only forsaken who really had a conflict to resolve there. We don't see that happen.

Aside from the points Suttree has already made about Lanfear's character being - as the text makes explicit more than once - obsessed with power above all else, and never truly loved LTT, the story of the person who drilled the Bore and was scorned for it, that was Beidomon's story, not Mierin's. He ended up killing himself to get away from what he'd done.

We don't see anything of Hawkwing's Daughter's attempt to take Shara.

We don't see anything of Luthair's attempt to take Seanchan either, despite the Seanchan having considerably more screen time than the Sharans. It's more that these are the events of a thousand years ago than anything else.

Magic... oh magic. When did the One Power suddenly turn into magic we might look for in say... Warhammer? It's suddenly very superficial and flashy and not well thought out.

Oh? Look at Sanderson's use of Gateways - the potential uses of them are explored. How is it not well thought out?

The Creator...Rand... the Dark One... and the hopeless samsara of the Wheel. Did anyone else feel like the end of the book was the worst possible ending imaginable? If the Dark One had taken over at least it would be a change. With Rand's solution the whole world is doomed to repeat itself...  endlessly... just as it has. All I could think at the end of the novel was... "Rand needs to die." Men would become no better than the Dark One if he killed the thing? Why? It's not explained, it's the worst writing imaginable. Just some random words thrown on a page in hopes we're frothing at the mouth overcome by emotion? I was so dead with boredom and "this is too much magic" that I felt like a fan that had just watched the ending of Mass Effect 3... "There's no hope. No free will. No choice. Choose your space-magic and watch the pre-selected cinematics. 20plus years of reading...of character development...of build up to 'win the last battle' and..." dead... Rand gets to say, "Ahhh, whatever... we can do this again! It was fun! That's what it's all about? Seriously... worse than the forsaken. Rand must die." 

Did you miss the vision of the world without evil? Without choice. It was vacuous and childish, without any meaning, or anything of interest. A world that takes way all the fun things from life (after all, most of the best things in life are evil). And given the nature of cyclical time, things repeating was always going to be the ending. That doesn't preclude free will - the very fact that the Pattern needs mechanisms to correct the drift when the drift is caused by the choices people make is surely an indicator of that. Change is not always for the better. Yes, Shai'tan winning would be a change. But it would create a world with no more change, a world that truly is without free will. What more could one expect from the being RJ dubbed the Ur-control freak? The Wheel gives the possibility of change. The Pattern is only an outline - up close, no two iterations of an Age look the same, it is only from a distance that they do.

 

Grand total of five women in the entire series I didn't HATE.

 

Verin. Moiraine. Min. Nynaeve. Cadsuane.

 

FIVE. Out of hundreds. What does that tell you??

Nothing at all about the series. Only about you. All of the women you do hate have their fans - I like Faile and Elayne, for example. So they can be both liked and hated.

 

Maybe I just don't understand who Sanderson's target audience is. It sure isn't me and in hindsight the fact that a young, northern, nonmilitary guy was chosen to write the end of this epic based on a EULOGY blows me away more and more. Hell, people HERE wrote lovely eulogies! Maybe I should have finished it. Or Jason. Or Mr Ares.

Mr Ares? An amusing, if terrible idea.

 

 

 

What makes you say Egwene couldn't pull off that weave from the stone even with an item of power like Vora's wand? She is certainly dexterous enough and we have seen her split weaves impressively.

 

You're right to call this out.  I'm assuming that Egwene's rage strength + her natural amazing channelling skill + Vora's wand + miraculous new weave insight could never add up to the kind of thing Rand made in the Stone.  But here's why I feel good about that assumption.  It's canon that women are never as more powerful as men at channelling.

No, it's canon that they are on average weaker.

 Egwene doesn't have any AOL memories or ta'veren-ness giving her a weave like the construct or the filaments of fire Rand used at the manor attack (which I thought was well executed by Brandon and an interesting contrast to what we see in AMOL).

So? We've seen plenty of innovations made by characters without the benefit of AoL memories, or ta'veren. Look at Nynaeve, performing an act (Healing severing) that was not possible in the AoL.

 Vora's wand is not Callandor and likely doesn't even come close since it presumably works only for saidar and has at least one flaw.

A flaw which, if anything, increases strength - it lacks the buffer that prevents one from overdrawing. It being for saidar says nothing about its strength.

 

Take my re-telling...

Ghastly. Simply ghastly. I, for one, am grateful that we got the ending we did rather than your abomination. 

(or unrelated to the OP like the Crystal Throne, but I've even read some who think that the Throne is a ter'angreal

They don't think it, they know it - it has been clearly stated to be a ter'angreal.

But somehow the crystal Egwene makes has the qualities of cuendillar (Logain can't get to the sa'angreal - WTF as if we haven't been led to think Logain wouldn't be the type to be so power hungry).

Logain's power hunger was clearly a reaction to his torture earlier in the book. He was made weak, and so desired to never be weak again. It was made very clear by the text, we were hit around the head with it. Yes, it was out of character - because the Logain we normally know is not post-traumatic. And you completely miss the point of the baleice - it has a property that cuendillar doesn't. It was a weave she created to undo the damage balefire was doing to the Pattern. Your retelling doesn't address that problem, you just have Taim tossing around massive quantities of balefire, with nothing being done about the Pattern unravelling around him because of it. That a weave could do that, while not something we've seen before, is not out of line with how the world works. So your problem is that it manifested as crystal. Of all the things to be bothered about, this is one of the silliest, and it has some bloody stiff competition. How would you like it to manifest?

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I totally get the the unpolished prose and lowest common denominator plot work don't bother everyone and that is fine. There is a type of fantasy for everyone out there but don't pretend as if the quality of writing holds up to any of the books that RJ wrote. Complain about RJ's pace during tPoD-CoT(but take story arc into account so it really is apples and oranges) and talk about the series getting away from him but the quality of writing never dropped to the level we have seen in these last few books. That has nothing to do with a different style and cadence.

 

I 100% agree -- but I see quality vs style as two different discussions entirely.

 

The under-polished prose not withstanding (because I think that is something that could have and absolutely *should* have been fixed) my point was very simply that different writers have a unique voice and style, and I think asking Brandon to try and copy RJ's would have ended up an unmitigated disaster.

 

I think they made the right decision by *not* attempting to do just that and allowing Brandon to put his own touch on certain things.

 

I'll give an example of why this is the right decision, in even other mediums (although, warning, it's a bit obscure.)  In 1992, the original drummer of the rock band Toto (Jeff Porcaro) died.  Jeff isn't very well known outside of the musical community, but he was an outstanding drummer who played on thousands upon thousands of records.  He was understated (blending the drumming with the percussion and bass tracks for an outstanding groove), with impeccable timing, and a groove that I don't think I've ever heard duplicated.  (For a great example of an awesome Jeff Porcaro track, listen to Boz Scaggs' Lowdown.  Or you can always listen to Toto's Rosanna, which is very distinctive.)  After Jeff died, the band realized that Jeff's sound and feel could never be replicated, and to attempt to do so would 1) result in a sub-par copy and 2) diminish Jeff's legacy.  So they went in an entirely different direction with a drummer named Simon Phillips -- who is an outstanding artist and *top notch* drummer -- but who has an entirely different style.  Where Jeff was understated, blending into the groove, Simon makes his presence known.  Seeing the guy perform live, I wonder if he doesn't have a 3rd (or 4th or 5th) arm up there.  Toto's sound changed dramatically as a result -- but it was still fantastic, and they've released some of their best stuff (that likely no one on here has heard) with Simon on drums.

 

Draw the parallel to RJ's passing and replacement....  It would not do him justice to ask another author to copy him because such a request would have been doomed to fail.  Voice and style are unique, and while at times they may be similar, I think we all ultimately would have been a lot more annoyed by a "cheap imitation" of RJ than we are of BS's work -- with all it's faults.

 

Anyway -- so like I said, I think the cadence/style comments that I made aren't meant to relate to the overall quality of Brandon's work here.  The prose itself could have been more polished, absolutely, undoubtedly.  But I like Brandon's style (the rapid PoV switches, etc.)

 

I can understand some people having a problem with it; however, I don't think that this difference in style is a legitimate critique of him as an author; it may not be someone's cup of tea, but just because he writes differently doesn't make it bad.  (Certainly not saying anyone has said this, but wanted to make the point anyway.)

 

And PS -- I see a ton of David Eddings hate!  While I'm on board that it's 100% bubble-gum/fluff fantasy, I have always loved his series -- it's just fun and enjoyable, at least to me (well, the Garion/Sparhawk stories were.)  (sorry, don't want to de-rail the RJ stuff.)

Edited by Sarlic

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@Held

 

As has been quoted in thread those notes were contradictory at times, they said well I might "do this or this" and they were not that robust. Sanderson created over 50% of the story with no direction from the notes. That is far different from him having no creative input as you stated earlier. Make no mistake that Team Jordan bears responsibility but as others have said if an author doesn't feel the work is ready its up to him to put his foot down.

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I haven't read any of the last 58 pages, but I can imagine what everyone is talking about. I wanted to quickly weigh in with an obnoxiously fence-sitting opinion regarding these two authors.

 

Throughout this last book in particular, two thoughts constantly intruded:

 

1) "Man, why did we waste our time with all those tangents in the previous books? It doesn't even matter now."

2) "That is so over-the-top"

 

RJ was, plain and simple, a more prosaic writer. He came up with unique turns of phrase, he painted a picture with a soft touch, and he generally wrote prose that was more beautiful than pretty much everything Sanderson puts to paper. RJ also had an incredible sense of the myths he drew on; his books were filled with mystery, foreboding, and a sense of great depth, historically and mythically. RJs books made me feel like I was in a large world that I would never fully understand, in which I might uncover a secret at any moment. These things what made the WoT great, especially the first five or six books.

 

Unfortunately, RJ seemed to lack the focus necessary to complete his own story. Part of me thinks he loved it so much that he didn't really want to finish it, but I think it has more to do with what he created in SR, FoH and LoC; too many characters, too many stories to tell. He became beholden to those mistakes in the subsequent books. I still would have loved to read him finish it, even if it took 20 books.

 

Brandon Sanderson possesses very few of RJs finer qualities. His prose is really well-suited to YA novels, in my opinion - simple, straightforward writing without much nuance, overly frank, "too much light, not enough shadow." (I heard a writing professor say that about a friend's work once and thought it applies to Sanderson perfectly). Sanderson doesn't trust his reader to make connections, understand his characters, etc. He hits us over the head with things we inherently understand and don't need to be stated.

 

Sanderson is a "rules" guy - his magic systems follow strict rules, and when something unexpected happens, a new rule is made to encompass it. He excels at moving along a plot because of this - every scene he writes has a specific goal in mind, and each scene moves us one step closer to the end of a character's story. This sounds easy, but I think it's really difficult to move your story from point A to point B, with specific goals in mind.

 

I think that Sanderson loved the story and the characters, while RJ really loved the world most of all - the myths, histories, cultures. It took a Sanderson-type to finish this story, unfortunately, and while I don't think he's a terrible writer, I think he lacks some of the qualities that made WoT stand out in the crowded fantasy genre. To me, I can't be mad at him because without him I might never have found out what happens between Rand and the DO, and that would suck.

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Women... somewhere down the road I began to realize there is something wrong with how Jordan addresses women in his story. They are not world shapers. This takes some explanation as I believe people get a little short sighted whenever this argument is made. To be a world shaper a person must plan, execute, and accomplish their plan while in turn others must be able and willing to glorify their attempts. This is not something I have yet to see happen with a female character in fantasy. Especially true with Jordan and Sanderson. I'm not saying I have hatred here, but I do feel deeply disappointed. Men in Wheel of Time shape the world. They make plans, they execute those plans, and for good or ill people acknowledge their -accomplishments- and set similar goals for themselves. With women, this is not the case. Women forged the White Tower, but it it was through entropy and its sheer persistence that it remained. Yes, the persistence could speak of its power (and actually does) but it is not the same as glorifying the one single woman or group of women who set it in motion. There is nothing in Wheel of Time except for Latra Posae Decume... whom I personally believe was Edgwene in the current age. Of Decume, all we can really say she is remembered for is preventing Lews Therin from accomplishing his strike at the Dark One.

Latra Posae is also remembered for leading the fight against the Shadow for forty years, and is remembered as a hero. As are several Amyrlins. Egwene, Moiraine and Cadsuane all fit your description as well. Nynaeve's methods of Healing are becoming more widely known, and improved upon. Elayne is in the process - she has wrought change on Andor, and desires to bring more, and it is likely only due to how short her reign has been thus far that she is not more widely lauded and emulated.

>Then there is Lanfear... if ever a character deserved redemption it is her. But Jordan lathers this character with persistent, unexplained scorn. Why? She finds the Bore? People hated her for that but she wasn't looking for it. She didn't even turn to the Shadow until it was obvious there was no salvation for herself in the Light. If need to question this to think of what happened to her Aiel servant. We can be sure she was cast out as, if not cause, prime among the reasons the Shadow ever touched the world. What more would we expect of a terrified, blame seeking populous than to scorn her? Her turn to the Shadow was one of the only forsaken who really had a conflict to resolve there. We don't see that happen.

Aside from the points Suttree has already made about Lanfear's character being - as the text makes explicit more than once - obsessed with power above all else, and never truly loved LTT, the story of the person who drilled the Bore and was scorned for it, that was Beidomon's story, not Mierin's. He ended up killing himself to get away from what he'd done.

We don't see anything of Hawkwing's Daughter's attempt to take Shara.

We don't see anything of Luthair's attempt to take Seanchan either, despite the Seanchan having considerably more screen time than the Sharans. It's more that these are the events of a thousand years ago than anything else.

Magic... oh magic. When did the One Power suddenly turn into magic we might look for in say... Warhammer? It's suddenly very superficial and flashy and not well thought out.

Oh? Look at Sanderson's use of Gateways - the potential uses of them are explored. How is it not well thought out?

The Creator...Rand... the Dark One... and the hopeless samsara of the Wheel. Did anyone else feel like the end of the book was the worst possible ending imaginable? If the Dark One had taken over at least it would be a change. With Rand's solution the whole world is doomed to repeat itself...  endlessly... just as it has. All I could think at the end of the novel was... "Rand needs to die." Men would become no better than the Dark One if he killed the thing? Why? It's not explained, it's the worst writing imaginable. Just some random words thrown on a page in hopes we're frothing at the mouth overcome by emotion? I was so dead with boredom and "this is too much magic" that I felt like a fan that had just watched the ending of Mass Effect 3... "There's no hope. No free will. No choice. Choose your space-magic and watch the pre-selected cinematics. 20plus years of reading...of character development...of build up to 'win the last battle' and..." dead... Rand gets to say, "Ahhh, whatever... we can do this again! It was fun! That's what it's all about? Seriously... worse than the forsaken. Rand must die." 

Did you miss the vision of the world without evil? Without choice. It was vacuous and childish, without any meaning, or anything of interest. A world that takes way all the fun things from life (after all, most of the best things in life are evil). And given the nature of cyclical time, things repeating was always going to be the ending. That doesn't preclude free will - the very fact that the Pattern needs mechanisms to correct the drift when the drift is caused by the choices people make is surely an indicator of that. Change is not always for the better. Yes, Shai'tan winning would be a change. But it would create a world with no more change, a world that truly is without free will. What more could one expect from the being RJ dubbed the Ur-control freak? The Wheel gives the possibility of change. The Pattern is only an outline - up close, no two iterations of an Age look the same, it is only from a distance that they do.

 

Grand total of five women in the entire series I didn't HATE.

 

Verin. Moiraine. Min. Nynaeve. Cadsuane.

 

FIVE. Out of hundreds. What does that tell you??

Nothing at all about the series. Only about you. All of the women you do hate have their fans - I like Faile and Elayne, for example. So they can be both liked and hated.

 

Maybe I just don't understand who Sanderson's target audience is. It sure isn't me and in hindsight the fact that a young, northern, nonmilitary guy was chosen to write the end of this epic based on a EULOGY blows me away more and more. Hell, people HERE wrote lovely eulogies! Maybe I should have finished it. Or Jason. Or Mr Ares.

Mr Ares? An amusing, if terrible idea.

 

 

 

What makes you say Egwene couldn't pull off that weave from the stone even with an item of power like Vora's wand? She is certainly dexterous enough and we have seen her split weaves impressively.

 

You're right to call this out.  I'm assuming that Egwene's rage strength + her natural amazing channelling skill + Vora's wand + miraculous new weave insight could never add up to the kind of thing Rand made in the Stone.  But here's why I feel good about that assumption.  It's canon that women are never as more powerful as men at channelling.

No, it's canon that they are on average weaker.

 Egwene doesn't have any AOL memories or ta'veren-ness giving her a weave like the construct or the filaments of fire Rand used at the manor attack (which I thought was well executed by Brandon and an interesting contrast to what we see in AMOL).

So? We've seen plenty of innovations made by characters without the benefit of AoL memories, or ta'veren. Look at Nynaeve, performing an act (Healing severing) that was not possible in the AoL.

 Vora's wand is not Callandor and likely doesn't even come close since it presumably works only for saidar and has at least one flaw.

A flaw which, if anything, increases strength - it lacks the buffer that prevents one from overdrawing. It being for saidar says nothing about its strength.

 

Take my re-telling...

Ghastly. Simply ghastly. I, for one, am grateful that we got the ending we did rather than your abomination. 

(or unrelated to the OP like the Crystal Throne, but I've even read some who think that the Throne is a ter'angreal

They don't think it, they know it - it has been clearly stated to be a ter'angreal.

But somehow the crystal Egwene makes has the qualities of cuendillar (Logain can't get to the sa'angreal - WTF as if we haven't been led to think Logain wouldn't be the type to be so power hungry).

Logain's power hunger was clearly a reaction to his torture earlier in the book. He was made weak, and so desired to never be weak again. It was made very clear by the text, we were hit around the head with it. Yes, it was out of character - because the Logain we normally know is not post-traumatic. And you completely miss the point of the baleice - it has a property that cuendillar doesn't. It was a weave she created to undo the damage balefire was doing to the Pattern. Your retelling doesn't address that problem, you just have Taim tossing around massive quantities of balefire, with nothing being done about the Pattern unravelling around him because of it. That a weave could do that, while not something we've seen before, is not out of line with how the world works. So your problem is that it manifested as crystal. Of all the things to be bothered about, this is one of the silliest, and it has some bloody stiff competition. How would you like it to manifest?

 

 

I'm going to try to respond to the substance of your reply and not address your tone aside from a comment that I don't understand the need for it in what should be a friendly discussion between fans.  Your reply, aside from a general criticism at my lack of precision and overlooking certain "clearly stated" elements of the canon with respect to fairly obscure details, appears to focus chiefly on my admittedly amateur (and off-the-cuff) re-telling and my issues with the crystal.  I grant that I'm not WoT expert (or a professional or talented creative writer), but I don't purport to be and I'm not sure that it's productive for your argument to try to undermine my post by calling attention to that.

 

As to your reply to my criticism of Logain:  I'm taking issue with the decision by any or all of Team Jordan to allow Androl to take the role that I believe Logain should have played.  As any reader would, I understand that Logain's botched Turning has some effect on his personality.  It'd be extraordinarily difficult to miss that given what we're told up front in the story. I actually think that's an interesting device and that it was well executed as a general matter; it was interesting to see Turnings and I appreciated the storyteller's details about a strong-willed person's response to them.  My issue goes deeper than that:  why did the storyteller choose to apply that device in connection with Logain when we've been led to expect Logain to be a pivotal character in the events surrounding the Last Battle?  You seem to take my issue as a lack of understanding as to the mechanics of a botched Turning or that Logain's change in personality in itself is out-of-character, but I'm not arguing either point.  More precisely, my issue is as I stated:  it fits awkwardly with the series to tell Logain's story this way.  What's the point of telling us all of this about Logain throughout the entire series if his role at the Last Battle is minor at best and his prospects for glory are clouded by our impression that he's turned into a monster?

 

And as to your reply to my criticism of the so-called baleice (which I agree is an apt way to characterize it to capture its core symbolic value, i.e. a balance to balefire):  You're right to identify that my issue is the crystal, but my argument is more nuanced than that.  I wouldn't have a problem with the use of crystal as the symbol if we had seen crystal used similarly throughout the series.  We haven't.  We've seen it used as a symbol of other things, namely the glory of the AOL and the power of enlightened cooperation.  I would like (and have been actively led to expect) that the resolution to Taim's balefiring would manifest in accordance with the symbolic palette I'm used to from the rest of the story.  I pointed to cuendillar as the device to apply to heal the pattern because it appears to hit the same symbolic chord as the storyteller(s) chose to hit in introducing crystal.  My argument is that a bale-off between Egwene and Taim falls short because it fails to unite and celebrate the symbols that make up this entire story.  While on a high level of generality, it's possible to interpret the bale-off as going to the grand theme of balance - of course, it does - there seem to be so many other ways to tell the Egwene vs. Taim story that thread together all of the symbols and foreshadowings associated with saidin vs. saidar, White Tower vs. Black Tower, cuendillar vs. balefire, Logain vs. Taim.  Instead, we're missing all of that depth.  In its place, we get a new symbol, or at least a familiar object used in a different symbolic way, that, frankly, is a go-to in fantasy storytelling.  I don't think it works, and I think pointing that out in connection with the demise of one of the core characters (and one prominent secondary character) and one of the most important points in the story in no way can seriously be characterized as silly.  I'm criticizing the use of symbols during one of the most pivotal points in the entire series, not calling out Min for a fashion no-no.

 

Thanks for your reply, but let's try to keep this discussion civil and respectful.  I came here to express my criticisms to people who would know what I'm talking about because none of my friends in real life have any idea what WOT is.  Your tone doesn't contribute productively to this community or our conversation, but it goes far to turn people off from chiming in.  I'm not sure that's the point of these discussion boards.

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rqstnnlitnmnt,

Piece of advice:

If you've managed to assume that any given poster is responding with a 'tone,' which you find denigrates your opinion, try re-reading the perceived offense more than twice over, and then thrice over, once more.

And, don't put yourself atop a pedestal, in presuming the affects of presumed tone upon a community of which Ares has contributed massively, or whether or not it goes far to turn people off from chiming in. I am not in any way suggesting that because you've only recently joined, as I assume with regard to your number of posts - To be absolutely clear: It is not my position that the number of posts someone contributes lends them any authority or any added credibility.

I am saying though, that you're coming across as though you feel you're in a position to speak for others, as far as whether or not Mr. Ares affects people from 'chiming in.' You're looking like a dipstick in doing so.

Dude, it looks like you've just joined. If so, welcome to DM.

By your own admission though, you don't know anyone else in real life that have any idea about Wheel of Time. Now you're claiming someone's perceived tone turns people off from chiming in on a message board? That admission, and as corroborated with what your post count would indicate...You don't know any people! Let alone being able to claim whether or not they're turned off from posting.

Do yourself a favor: Speak for yourself, don't speak for others.


TL;DR  Mr. Ares pwn'd, U mad?

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So now that our favorite series ended in a train wreck, it's time to move on:

 

Who has some good suggestions for a next series??  I'll stab anyone that suggest Brandon Sanderson.

Edited by Mark D

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So now that our favorite series ended in a train wreck, it's time to move on:

 

Who has some good suggestions for a next series??  I'll stab anyone that suggest Brandon Sanderson.

 

You could read Terry Goodkind.  :rolleyes:

 

What?  You only said no Brandon Sanderson!

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