Jump to content

DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
Luckers

Quality Discussion Thread

Recommended Posts

I really liked the last book! At first, I didn't like the way he wrote Mat, but by the last book I had gotten used to it, or it had integrated into the character of Mat in my mind by the last book rather.  The first book by Sanderson threw me off a little bit here and there, especially the chapters about Mat, but by the last book I found that the story had regained continuity completely, and I loved it!

 

You know, people who want to find things to complain about, they will always find things to complain about, no matter what.  If you want to enjoy the book, it is a very easy book to enjoy.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scattershot to hit some more current points.

 

I did like TGS, It was the only time I ever liked Egwene's character, and I was happy to see her mature. ToM and aMoL she regressed. Of course I have mnay other reasons, but I don't have time for an exhaustive list now. 

 

While I think better and more conscise writing would have helped aMoL, I do not agree that Jordan always used ellipses effectively. There were plenty of times I would have preffered to see the actual fight/battle/scene than just  ... and then it had already happened (Mat vs. Couladin being the main one in my head). Speeding up action fine, but sometimes bypassing the action isn't good.

 

I can't disagree with Brandon arguing against the split as Suttree linked the Q&A where he states he did. But I cannot agree with it either as I also linked to his blog where he stated he couldn't make it in one book and that it needed 3. -And- that it was his sugesstion to Tom+Harriet. I think he chose which stance to take in both cases to 'defend himself'.

 

I was also one who did not like TSR for some of the reasons stated above, but mainly it was because it followed what I think of the Fonz, Boba Fett, or Snake-Eyes (GI Joe reference) effect. A character (in WoT case the Aiel) is introduced who is mysterious and quickly liked by fans. Fans want to know more, so they are given more and more and more until there is no mystery, The charcter is a awesome bad-*** who cannot be stopped and for me becomes a caraciture of what they were. The aiel 'sand ninjas' did that for me and the Shark Jumping began in TSR. Yes, it did have good fights, dialogue, and points,I will not disagree with that, but the overall Aiel theme of the book was offputting and I do not think was needed.

 

Again, as the aiel appeal to fans, I think it is one reason it is considered one of the favourites, just not mine.

Edited by ZorValachan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel like the main issue with AMOL was that it actually needed to be another two books. I'm aware that sounds like madness, given how long we'd waited for an ending, but to me, although AMOL was compelling and a very quick read, some of it felt very rushed and did a disservice to the characters to which we had built such an affinity over the previous thirteen books.

 

So you could've had:

 

book 14- Black Tower shenanigans, Demandred and the Sharans in Shara, Mat and the Seanchan, Conference at Merrilor, Lan and the Malkieri, the three campaigns

                                  

book 15- Mat taking command, Last Battle, Rand vs Dark One, a more extended epilogue that covered more of the loose ends.

 

Some of the decisions made in the book kind of negated all the work that had been done to build them up. Why have Egwene re-unite the White Tower- and take six books to do it- only to have most of the Aes Sedai burnt to the crisp and for her to sacrifice herself? Why go on and on about Logain's future glory from book 4 on and build him as Taim's rival from book 8 on only for Egwene to take that glory? I know he rescued civilians, but that's not the same. Why have Moiraine rescued only for her to be a very minimal part of the book? 

 

Overall, I really enjoyed it, but for me, TOM was the best Sanderson effort by miles, particularly Mat's closing speech to the Finns. If AMOL had been as well balanced as TOM it would've been a triumph. As it is, it was more "good".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Overall, I really enjoyed it, but for me, TOM was the best Sanderson effort by miles, particularly Mat's closing speech to the Finns. If AMOL had been as well balanced as TOM it would've been a triumph. As it is, it was more "good".

The ToG sequence in ToM was RJ.

 

Forbthe rest you may be the first person I've seen who has called ToM "well balanced". It's generally regarded as the worst of the three by a wide margin. Structurally it's a mess, the timeline issues stand out, there are numerous mistakes and the writing very unpolished. Bottom line the book was rushed out far too quick, plot decisions were even made based on deadlines, not what was best for the book. Lastly they went so far as to change the writing process for AMoL based on how rough ToM turned out.

 

As for splitting AMoL yet again, that is what caused many of the issues in the first place. There simply was not enough material(Brandon argued against the split) and RJ was clear he was planning only on more. An appalling amount of bloat and filler crept into the last three books. One book split into two say WH sized volumes would have been sufficent and much stronger from a structural perspective for that matter.

Edited by Suttree

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think what's amazing is that given the majority of people feel that less books would have better better, there still seemed to be so many areas where plot points were rushed, or character development was clipped.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think what's amazing is that given the majority of people feel that less books would have better better, there still seemed to be so many areas where plot points were rushed, or character development was clipped.

It's because the number of books you have is less important than what you do with the space available. These books have a lot of wasted space, and a lot of things that didn't get the attention they deserved - had they bulked out some things and cut others, then we could have had the same number of books, but better books. Also, let's not forget that there are plenty of books longer than these in print, so they were not running out of space and could have expanded significantly (a few hundred pages) without needing more books.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be fair, I don't think RJ got the balance 100% right either between ellipsis and showing scenes.  There were a number of scenes which had the potential to be very interesting (e.g. Mat killing Couladin, Nynaeve and Lan's seafolk wedding) which weren't covered directly, plus major plot elements which were barely touched on (e.g. the Black Tower), while other plot-arcs  were dragged out unnecessarily or scenes were basically repeated numerous times (e.g. Elayne's succession, Kin and Seafolk bickering, Perrin's quest to rescue Faile). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True but comparing the middle of a long series where things are still expanding to the conclusion is apples and oranges.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Books are always going to be a topic where opinions are highly subjective. I recently re-read all fourteen from beginning to end and ToM was easily my favourite of the final seven books: pacy, exciting, Mat-centric (always a good thing). Interesting that Jordan wrote the Ghenjei chapters, I didn't know that.

Edited by I Heart Berelain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was pissed with Mat's conclusion. While the last battle wouldn't have been won without him, I thought he would be in some sort of epic battle with one of the Forsaken or something. Compared to Perrin's epic battle, Mat's was a joke. Padin Fain finds him pretending to be dead, he rolls over, pokes the guy with a dagger, and that's it. For a character that heavily relies on luck, this seemed like a slap in the face to me. Mat spent more time guiding the last battle than taking part in it, which really bummed me out. 

 

Perrin on the other hand was handled masterfully by Brandon. His growth over the last three books was immense, and it really came out in the last battle. He finally learns to control the wolf dream, and really lets himself go, which was fucking epic. For him to be able to shrug off Compulsion from Lanfear... I was speechless when that happened. I seriously thought she was going to use Perrin to kill Moraine, Nynaeve, and Rand. And he gets to live happily ever after with Faile, that was pretty neat too.

 

I was bummed when Egwene died, but I thought it was handled very well. She reversed Balefire! I mean, c'mon, that shit is epic right there.

 

I found Mat's battle to be pretty "epic". The problem is that Brandon isn't the best for describing battles. He did a good job, he didn't do a great job. I think ultimately he (BS) lost site of how important the war effort was and didn't articulate it properly in his writing. Thus the reader is left feeling... "ok we had a big fight, so what? Why not just have fought this at Shayol Ghul instead?". 

 

Then you realize the following: 

-Mat's battle WAS about keeping Demandred away from Rand first. Saving people was second though important. Perrin's was about keeping Lanfear and Slayer away from Rand. If Mat lost, Demandred would of realized he was "tricked" and he would of headed to Shayol Ghul and killed Rand. 

-BS totally didn't make this part clear IMO, though you can pick it out of the reading by how Demandred keeps thinking Rand is in the battle and didn't know he was at Shayol Ghul. There is a bit of an issue here of course, since the battle and preperation took place over a week, while Rand was at Shayol Ghul, so why didn't Demandred find out? I don't know. 

-Agreed about Padan Fain. In the first 3 books, we were lead to believe by Jordan that Fain was some major evil power. Not equal to the dark one obviously, but a major evil that was probably almost equal to the Forsaken. He was kind of lost after Book 3 though, making small appearances here and there and corrupting people. Then he virtually disappeared into nothingness after about Book 8 or 9. I think because Jordan originally intended to only have this as a trilogy or something, that Fain was going to be a major character and then they decided against it. When he died, his notes were probably not that great and BS was left with nothing, so he essentially closed it in as quick a way as possible (poorly). I always felt that Fain was going to have a major impact in the Last Battle and that Rand would somehow turn the table and use Fain against the Dark One himself in order to win, but alas, nothing happened. 

-Fain turned into the Samsin(sp?) guy. Where the hell did that come from? 

-Mat's growth was different, he was the guy who "stayed the same" but grew. I agree that he didn't grow properly, but he was probably one of the harder ones to write about because Jordan did such a good job with Mat until he died. Serious people (Rand and Perrin) are easy to write. Fun people are not. In the first GoS scenes with Mat, BS kept having Mat swear and such, it didn't feel like Mat at all. 

 

 

 

Epic sure! Loved that battle! But did she have to die? Hmmph. I tend to get really emotionally invested in some books. That was the only part I cried at. 3.gif

 

edit: Oh wait I lied. I teared up when Perrin found Faile at the end.

 

I don't like that Egwene died either, especially since she grew into such a strong character. She spoke to Rand while he was in the void, which forced him to realize he had to let go. I think she Egwene speaking to Rand was ultimately the turning point for Rand. The problem I had was that once again, BS didn't show how important that turning point was for Rand, and I suspect a lot of readers will not draw the connection and importance between her Death and him winning. Of course, maybe Jordan wrote that last bit as it felt more Jordan than BS, but I don't know. What I do know is it is easy to miss the connection. 

 

The death itself WAS handled well though.

 

S handled well though.  

Edited by Mithan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

   When he died, his notes were probably not that great and BS was left with nothing, so he essentially closed it in as quick a way as possible (poorly). 

 

What I really didn't get on this topic was why build up the character and end with the teaser in ToM only to dispatch him as he did in AMoL. Just a very strange choice all around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

   When he died, his notes were probably not that great and BS was left with nothing, so he essentially closed it in as quick a way as possible (poorly). 

 

What I really didn't get on this topic was why build up the character and end with the teaser in ToM only to dispatch him as he did in AMoL. Just a very strange choice all around.

 

 

 

Ya doesn't make much sense.  I think there is probably a good chapter of information that got dumped on the editing room floor on Padan Fain.

 

Hopefully the Encyclopedia isn't like the first one, and has a lot of good information in it.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

-BS totally didn't make this part clear IMO, though you can pick it out of the reading by how Demandred keeps thinking Rand is in the battle and didn't know he was at Shayol Ghul. There is a bit of an issue here of course, since the battle and preperation took place over a week, while Rand was at Shayol Ghul, so why didn't Demandred find out? I don't know. 

Particularly as Graendal and Lanfear knew that Rand was at SG.  Doesn't seem like the time to hold back information from the other Forsaken when its literally your last chance to kill Rand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Overall, I really enjoyed it, but for me, TOM was the best Sanderson effort by miles, particularly Mat's closing speech to the Finns. If AMOL had been as well balanced as TOM it would've been a triumph. As it is, it was more "good".

The ToG sequence in ToM was RJ.

 

Forbthe rest you may be the first person I've seen who has called ToM "well balanced". It's generally regarded as the worst of the three by a wide margin. Structurally it's a mess, the timeline issues stand out, there are numerous mistakes and the writing very unpolished. Bottom line the book was rushed out far too quick, plot decisions were even made based on deadlines, not what was best for the book. Lastly they went so far as to change the writing process for AMoL based on how rough ToM turned out.

 

As for splitting AMoL yet again, that is what caused many of the issues in the first place. There simply was not enough material(Brandon argued against the split) and RJ was clear he was planning only on more. An appalling amount of bloat and filler crept into the last three books. One book split into two say WH sized volumes would have been sufficent and much stronger from a structural perspective for that matter.

 

 

I definitely agree with you about the problems with ToM.  That book does have some of my favorite scenes in the entire series, but the structure (particularly the timeline) is a complete mess.

 

What did you mean by Brandon arguing against the split?  My understanding from an article he posted in 2009 is that the decision on length which led to the split was largely his idea, and that he advocated in favor of the split.  (Or to be more exact, he advocated in favor of an overall length that would be impossible to publish in a single volume, thus requiring a split.)

Edited by Paul H

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  What did you mean by Brandon arguing against the split?  My understanding from an article he posted in 2009 is that the decision on length which led to the split was largely his idea, and that he advocated in favor of the split.  (Or to be more exact, he advocated in favor of an overall length that would be impossible to publish in a single volume, thus requiring a split.)

 

This was discussed back in post #1601 but it's been buried somewhat.

 

S

Not trying to be argumentative just wanting to know and to explain where I am coming from. Thanks!

Leaving aside info from people close to Team Jordan the Q& A at Theoryland is a great resource...

 

Brandon

Tor has decided to slice it up and release it in three segments. It's not like I've decided to write two extra books...I don't really have the call on it. But that's something different.

Brandon Sanderson

November is what we're looking at. What happened is, the final notes that Robert Jordan left behind, at his widow's direction. His widow, Harriet, was actually his editor. She discovered him as a writer first, and then she married him. She's still very heavily involved, and she's my editor on the project. She decided to take the notes and split them into three novels.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, three. The split was decided by Tom, the publisher, and Harriet, who's not only Robert Jordan's wife but his editor for many years....

Brandon

The publisher and Robert Jordan’s widow decided that it should be three books and so we did split it.... There is really not much of a story there, it’s just that they decided to slice it and I said go ahead.

Brandon

At some point Tor and Harriet discussed how long it was going. And so that's when they came to me and said, "We want to split it."

Brandon

And Tom Doherty and Harriet made the call, I left it up to them, that they were going to decide how it was going to be divided or if it was going to be divided or if they were going to be printing it as one.

Brandon also argued for one book two volumes, which realistically would have been the best way to go.

If the book does end up needing to get split, Brandon would prefer for the first half to be released in October 2009 and the second in November 2009, with a leatherbound special edition of the complete book.

Bottom line however the proof is in the books. The timeline(Brandon called it "a casualty" of the split), structural issues and filler during the climax of the story are all the proof we need that this book should not have gone three. Don't think anyone would argue space was used wisely in these last three books. One book split into two volumes would have been more than sufficient. Also important to note there has been a good amount of conflicting information stated in relation to the notes etc.

 

 

 Basically Brandon came around to the company line after it was decided. Initially he wanted one book as did RJ and it's clear that would have been the correct call now. Again we have seen stances in relation to the notes etc. consistently change throughout this whole process. People with an inside glimpse have less than glowing things to say on that mark. Consider some of the old guard that now are no longer active here and what they saw behind the scenes plays a role in that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Basically Brandon came around to the company line after it was decided. Initially he wanted one book as did RJ and it's clear that would have been the correct call now. Again we have seen stances in relation to the notes etc. consistently change throughout this whole process. People with an inside glimpse have less than glowing things to say on that mark. Consider some of the old guard that now are no longer active here and what they saw behind the scenes plays a role in that. 

 

 

OK, thanks for the quotes.  Some of those I have seen before, but a few of them don't look familiar, even though I followed Brandon's updates closely throughout the writing process for the last three books.  Maybe they are from interviews or online chats that I just missed, or that I don't recall.

 

I think maybe you and I were just thinking of Brandon's attitude toward the split a little bit differently.  I was aware that Brandon originally wanted to make AMoL one book, or at very least multiple volumes published in quick succession and if possible even packaged together.  However, I was focusing on the fact that Brandon eventually came to realize that to tell the story correctly, he would need well over 400k words, which would necessarily mean more than one book.  And Brandon evidently advocated for that increased length to Harriet and Tom.  (At least that is what I have gathered from his blog posts and articles, such as the one I linked here.)  But I see where you are coming from now, if you mean that Brandon ideally wanted the books to be one volume, or at very least to write the whole thing and then split it only because it is physically too big to put into one volume.  It wouldn't surprise me if Brandon wasn't enthusiastic about releasing the first book so quickly, and without regard for the effects on the timeline and structure of the second book, and I gather that is what you were getting at.

 

Personally though, I can't see how Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, or anyone else could have finished the story in one more book after Knife of Dreams.  Two books, maybe.  I do see some filler that could have been cut here and there (e.g., some of Perrin's endless battle with Slayer), but not enough to get it down to one book.

 

As to what you say about the old guard here, I haven't been around here long enough to make that observation myself, but I appreciate your perspective.  I do know that some of the very old guard (i.e., the main contributors to the original WoT FAQ back in the mid-1990s) seem no longer to be active in WoT online fandom, but that's understandable with the passage of so much time, and they probably aren't the ones you are talking about.

Edited by Paul H

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  Personally though, I can't see how Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, or anyone else could have finished the story in one more book after Knife of Dreams.  Two books, maybe.  I do see some filler that could have been cut here and there (e.g., some of Perrin's endless battle with Slayer), but not enough to get it down to one book. 

 

I think Brandon's(and RJ's for that matter) initial instincts were correct. One book that could have been split into say two WH size volumes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

  Personally though, I can't see how Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, or anyone else could have finished the story in one more book after Knife of Dreams.  Two books, maybe.  I do see some filler that could have been cut here and there (e.g., some of Perrin's endless battle with Slayer), but not enough to get it down to one book. 

 

I think Brandon's(and RJ's for that matter) initial instincts were correct. One book that could have been split into say two WH size volumes.

 

 

I don't, at least not even remotely close to WH size anyway. Not a chance IMO.

I could meet halfway and go with 2 tSR sized volumes and I would still be left with doubts but I at least could admit the possibility.

tSR 396k words

WH 238K words

Last 3 combined 1000k

 

Going from 1000k to 476k is a stretch and a half.

Going to 750-800k seems much, much, much more reality based.

 

RJ was horrible at predicting the size of books, he was horrible at predicting the size of the series for pete's sake.

 

As far as filler goes, BOTH authors wrote filler.

BS's tended to be more story based, relevant or not, while RJ's tended to be much more description based.

I have a lot of doubt, under RJ, that the "filler" amount would have been lessened much, if at all. Only the nature of that filler would have changed.

Basically, instead of getting some extra, half relevant PoV's of condensed filled, we would have gotten extra pages spread throughout detailing Tuon's or Min's silks, Mat's "new" uniform, more detail on Birgitte's braid heh. Hell, I would bet even the description of the sky when it formed the Dragon banner near the end would have been worth at least an extra paragraph, if not a full page under RJ.  

 

BS IMO gets picked on because his filler is more up front and in your face than RJ's but it's not because there was more of it.

BS just simply isn't as subtle as RJ, Just like BS simply isn't as good as RJ but he's not terrible either.

Edited by Finnssss

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RJ's filler in addition to too much description(which is a very different thing than what is being discussed) was riddled with foreshadowing and key hints. To change anything one would need a massive rewrite. BS's was just that, empty filler. You could literally cut whole sections and not change a thing. It's been commented on many times in thread but it takes Brandon a ridiculous amount of time to tell some parts due to his "tell don't show" style and seeming lack of ability to use literary devices such as ellipsis to advance the action(see Gawyn example from Dom in post #1799). All of that leaves aside the artificial stretching to catch up timeline and fix stuctural issues due to the split. Brandon gets picked on because these are the last three books, there shouldn't be any filler period. Again comparing it to the mid-late portions is apples and oranges.

 

That said I get your point about word count and that is a fair take to be certain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Buh-buh-buh...Hinderstap was so relevant, and important to the advancement of the plot! It's clearly such a aweso...suh.....sssssuuhhh...suu...suckfest.

Friggin BS.


*facial twitch




 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Buh-buh-buh...Hinderstap was so relevant, and important to the advancement of the plot! It's clearly such a aweso...suh.....sssssuuhhh...suu...suckfest.

 

Friggin BS.

 

 

*facial twitch

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well they DID show up again in aMoL....

Edited by Master Ablar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Hinderstap in AMOL was also Brandon's creation - not in the notes, so technically it was still filler. 

 

It was better than nothing though. I think he realised it was pretty much pointless in tGS. I believe it is one of the most cited pointless plotlines. To make it better, he wove it into the plot again and made it relevant. Personally, I think it would have been better left out altogether, from tGS and AMOL (I mean, with all the crap that's been going on, would a whole load of Dreadlords really just run away from zombies?), however, I give him credit for attempting to fix things. Better than nothing at all. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...