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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

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All without the bloat, artificial filler, [...] and structural issues.

Completely unlike every other book in WoT, you mean?

 

 

If you don't want to have a serious discussion why keep posting. You now very well that comparing AMoL to the mid-late stretch is apples and oranges. If you feel the three way split was a good idea for the story and didn't cause any issues tell us why.

 

 

That's two books. This may not require each separate book to have its own exposition, outset, progression, climax, and ending, as the second book starts off exactly where the first one had begun, but that's still physically two books, the second one produced a year or even several years after the first one.

 

 

Why would the second be produced years later if it is written as one and then split into two volumes? Not sure why you are quibbling over semantics here instead of addressing the actual issue.

 

 

If anyone actually believes that even a 1,000-page final book 12 from RJ would have been satisfactory, then they really were not paying attention to the series up to that point. Any argument that the series could have been properly wrapped up in one book cannot be taken seriously.

 

So you think Brandon after seeing the notes, wasn't paying attention and can't be taken seriously? Glad we are clear on that. :wink:

Would Robert Jordan have been able to do it in one book? Really? I don't know. I think that, if he'd lived, he might have worked some magic and gotten it done in one 400 or 500k volume. But I feel the need to be very careful and not ruin this series by strangulation. It's not going to go on forever, but it does need a little room to breathe.

 

It should also be noted that Brandon thought it should be finished in one.

Edited by Suttree
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Dom had a solid breakdown earlier in thread touching on this.

The breakdown, while interesting, has nothing to do with my point. What difference does it make in regards to the question of whether or not it was possible to go from the end of KoD to the end of the series in the span of a single installment? If anything, the breakdown is making it clear that at least two separate books would have been needed - one that concentrates on the main characters' plotlines growing dark and more hopeless in the face of impending Tarmon Gaidon, and the second one focusing on the Last Battle itself. That's two, not one.

 

 

If you don't want to have a serious discussion why keep posting. You now very well that comparing AMoL to the mid-late stretch is apples and oranges.

 

Did I seem as though I was making a joke? I wasn't. Bloat, massive amounts of filler, structural issues, pacing issues, and lack of direction have plagued this series for a very long time. The main difference between BS's books is that they contain both filler and plot development. Otherwise they wouldn't have allowed him to write the books. RJ's books (including KoD) were boat and filler with very little plot development, and in case of CoT, only filler with at best one chapter's worth of plot development. This is what made them so painful to read - the realization that once you tear through the 20+ pages of gratuitous dress descriptions and reiterations of facts we already know, you will face another 20+ pages of gratuitous dress descriptions and reiterations of other facts we already know, until you get to the final 2-3 chapters' worth of chopped up climax-ending and half a page's worth of vague epilogue.

 

While AMoL was far from being a good or even an acceptable novel in my opinion, it had its own problems than RJ's later books. Which leads me to my original point. People who believe that RJ could have completed the series in one book seem to be operating under the delusion that. after more than ten years and five very slow-paced novels in which little of consequence happens in proportion to their length and word count, RJ would have suddenly been able to produce a book that had none of these problems, no filler or bloat whatsoever, and with a much faster pace than any other book he had ever written. If he was able to write books like that, why wasn't he writing them all along?

 

Why would the second be produced years later if it is written as one and then split into two volumes? 

Why would they release both volumes at the same time two years from today, when they could release the first one one year from now (and collect the royalties), and the second one one year after that? What is the point of you suggesting AMoL to be split into two volumes if both are released simultaneously? If both are released at the same time, then what difference does it make to us whether it's one volume or two volumes? Is it just to prevent out the purely technical and irrelevant (to our discussion) difficulties of binding together 1000+ pages?

 

The opinion that many people on this forum seem to gravitate towards is that the series should have been completed in two fully-fledged novels with no filler, both proceeding at a pace similar to the pace of TSR/TFoH/LoC. In order to have a fully-fledged novel you need a central theme driving forward the main characters' numerous plotlines. Like I said, the first theme should have been a gradual descent into darkness and despair, culminating in an epiphany and catharsis at the end of the first book, and the second theme should have been a new sense of hope, giving the forces of Light a chance of winning in the last novel. It's pointless to blame BS for the decision to have three books, because he had no control over it. Blame the people who own the rights to the WoT.

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 It's pointless to blame BS for the decision to have three books, because he had no control over it. Blame the people who own the rights to the WoT.

 

Actually most people here understand Brandon thought it should be done in one. It was Tor's decision to creat the three way split.

 

 

The breakdown, while interesting, has nothing to do with my point. What difference does it make in regards to the question of whether or not it was possible to go from the end of KoD to the end of the series in the span of a single installment? If anything, the breakdown is making it clear that at least two separate books would have been needed - one that concentrates on the main characters' plotlines growing dark and more hopeless in the face of impending Tarmon Gaidon, and the second one focusing on the Last Battle itself. That's two, not one.earlier in thread touching on this.

 

 

Yes one book, two volumes. Dom is yet another person who agrees with that direction. After how things finished it's pretty clear that would have been a preferable course. Again stop quibbling over semantics when it seems as if you agree with this sentiment.

 

As for filler it has been pointed out elsewhere many times but 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. People seem to forget that RJ could convey a great deal of information in a short period of time when needed. Brandon's "tell don't show" style and seeming Inability to use literary devices like ellipsis to advance the action squander a ton of space

 

Also based on where we are in the story arc why wouldn't the pace returnt to TSR levels? Just because filler crept into the series in the middle stages, how does that mean it's ok that Brandon had it in the ending? Not sure how that computes. You can just say well yes it was an issue in Tom and AmoL but look at the middle of the series! Again it's apples and oranges. 

 

Lastly in relation to a possible release schedule of the two volumes I was merely questioning why you thought they would be "several" years apart. Of course they wouldn't be released simultaneously.

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That's still two books, not one.

 

Not sure you are clear on the concept of writing somehting as one book and then splitting it into two volumes verse writing three seperate novels.

 

Brandon Sanderson

I do wish I'd managed to either get it all into one book, or managed the split between The Gathering Storm/Towers of Midnight better. Also, I might have tried to work Fain in more if I'd had more time. Also, there are some little continuity errors here and there that I wish I would have caught.

 

Edit: Oh and pay attention to the Fain portion of the quote as well. Not the first time things in the story were decided around deadlines as opposed to what would have made the best book .

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Yes one book, two volumes. Dom is yet another person who agrees with that direction. After how things finished it's pretty clear that would have been a preferable course. Again stop quibbling over semantics when it seems as if you agree with this sentiment.
 

You do not seem to understand the difference between a two-part book, and two books. A book is a complete installment that has its own premise, its own plot progression, its own climax, and its own ending. These are not semantics, these are essentials, and there was too much of plot development left after the end of KoD to fit into a single premise-progression-climax-ending structure. At least two are needed. Had there been three well-written novels void of filler - even better.

 

There's no way you can fit everything the main characters do in the span of TGS/ToM/AMoL into a single book, regardless of how long or how many volumes it is split into. You don't go from Rand being clueless, conflicted, and insane to Rand who battles the DO at Shayol Ghul in the span of a single book. You don't go from Egwene who had just been captured by Elaida's Reds and reduced to novice whites, to Egwene who leads the entire unbroken Tower free of both Mesaana and the Black Ajah in a battle against Trollocks and Sharans. You don't go from Mat who had just gotten married to Tuon and named Prince of Ravens to Mat who rescues Moiraine from Sindhol, and finds himself perfectly integrated into Seanchan military command structure, leading Seanchan forces in the Last Battle. The same can be told of any character - there's simply too much stuff to go through.

 

All this was stuff that should have happened in the course of ACoS-KoD (five whole books!) in place of fanciful dress descriptions and reiteration of things we already know. And in place of an overbearing volume of foreshadowing  - stop hinting about what's going to happen in the next books, and just go ahead and write the next books so that we can read it for ourselves.

 

 

As for filler it has been pointed out elsewhere many times but 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. 

 

Not really. Removing hints and foreshadowing would not need a massive rewrite, because the story and plot do not require hints and foreshadowing to remain coherent. Hints and foreshadowing are done for the sake of the reader, not for the sake of the characters, it's a way of breaking the fourth wall and saying "in the next books this and that will happen", disguised through clever word play and prose. The valuable part of book X is what happens in book X, not what might happen in book XY.

 
 BS's was just that, empty filler. You could literally cut whole sections and not change a thing. People seem to forget that RJ could convey a great deal of information in a short period of time when needed. Brandon's "tell don't show" style and seeming Inability to use literary devices like ellipsis to advance the action squander a ton of space

Once again, the difference is that BS had no control over the decision to have a split into three books, and that BS's books have plenty of plot development in addition to filler. You're right, you can cut away all of BS's filler and still have a coherent, lengthy novel where relevant things happen. Cut away filler from RJ's books, and you're left with less than a dozen disjointed chapters. Or less than half a dozen chapters in case of CoT.

 

 

Also based on where we are in the story arc why wouldn't the pace returnt to TSR levels? Just because filler crept into the series in the middle stages, how does that mean it's ok that Brandon had it in the ending? Not sure how that computes. You can just say well yes it was an issue in Tom and AmoL but look at the middle of the series! .

 

What? I... what? What?!

 

And why do you keep returning to BS? I was not talking about the way BS had completed the series, I was talking about how RJ should have completed the series had he been alive to complete it. I just don't get why you mention BS after every two words, in the hypothetical scenario that I proposed, BS wouldn't have even entered the picture.

 

Again it's apples and oranges

 

 

Indeed, there's a big difference between books that have both filler and vast amounts of plot progression, and books that have filler and very little plot progression.

 

 

 

Lastly in relation to a possible release schedule of the two volumes I was merely questioning why you thought they would be "several" years apart. Of course they wouldn't be released simultaneously.

 

I said one or even several years. I don't know how long it would take RJ to complete a novel in the purely hypothetical scenario where he decided to write two books instead of one, it's merely an estimate off the top of my head. And again, it's not very relevant, is it?

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He means apples and oranges in terms of the natural progression of an overreaching narrative as it goes through the phases & goings on applicable to middle acts(apples), versus material & attributes that are demonstrative of final acts(oranges).

Thereby to compare the intrinsic properties of middle books, versus those of the tail end of the series, is to compare apples & oranges; two fundamentally different things.

An aside though, Quadrillium, you're a big microwave user, aren't you?
 

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I really don't think the split had anything to do with whether or not the rest of the story could be told in one, rather lengthy, book.  I think the decision was made more on concerns of selling the book to vendors such as the amount of space it would take up on their shelves.  They also did toy with the idea of releasing AMOL in three volumes instead of three separate novels but again the vendors had issues with putting three books with the same title on their shelves.  The reasons for the split are rather complicated and the story did suffer for it.  Honestly, whether or not is could realistically have been avoided I cannot say.  I do think that certain aspects of the split could have been handled better.  For example I think a lot of the pacing problems in ToM could have been avoided if more of Perrin's arc had been included in TGS considering that there were so many parallels between his storyline and Rands such as Tam being important in both and Perrin witnessing Rand's epiphany from TAR.  I also think Brandon should have reintroduced Rand and Egwene much later in ToM and spent more time catching up the other storylines before reintroducing them.  Was it really necessary for the first chapter of ToM to involve Rand coming down for Dragonmount?  Frankly I think it would have helped build suspense and made for a better story if Brandon had let us spend half the book wondering just what had become of Rand following is epiphany.  Let the darker aspects of Mat and Perrin's arc build up before providing the ray of hope via Zen-Rand.

Edited by Leopoled Boothe
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Lots of things got out of hand under RJ way before AMoL as he envisioned. That's a big discussion that I could probably be arm-twisted to take part in, depends on when and if I reread.

 

The question of whether you can get post KoD into 350k words is interesting enough for now.

- Rand has to hit low point then recover and get the rest of the world signed on. (If you don't consider CoT/KoD low enough.)

- Mat has to rescue Moiraine (oh I'd have her actually do something or figure something out lol).

- Perrin has to make a hammer I guess, maybe make some TaR discovery, but this stuff should have been covered sooner. (I dislike Perrin's plot-line most of all, he's done the same hero journey 3 times already along the same lines.)

- Aes Sedai factions need to reunite. I'd rather Egwene just be important to that, but she's already stuck going down that road.

- Black Tower needs a-fixin.

- The oh god wtf Borderlander Army stuff (if you think some good reason for them riding around for a year over 5 books is needed).

- Have to see some shadow movement towards TG.

- Then have TG and a bit of after :)

 

Is that doable and what am I missing of things that have to happen (prophecies or whatever)?

Edited by Cybertrolloc
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Lots of things got out of hand under RJ way before AMoL as he envisioned. That's a big discussion that I could probably be arm-twisted to take part in, depends on when and if I reread.

 

The question of whether you can get post KoD into 350k words is interesting enough for now.

- Rand has to hit low point then recover and get the rest of the world signed on. (If you don't consider CoT/KoD low enough.)

- Mat has to rescue Moiraine (oh I'd have her actually do something or figure something out lol).

- Perrin has to make a hammer I guess, maybe make some TaR discovery, but this stuff should have been covered sooner. (I dislike Perrin's plot-line most of all, he's done the same hero journey 3 times already along the same lines.)

- Aes Sedai factions need to reunite. I'd rather Egwene just be important to that, but she's already stuck going down that road.

- Black Tower needs a-fixin.

- The oh god wtf Borderlander Army stuff (if you think some good reason for them riding around for a year over 5 books is needed).

- Have to see some shadow movement towards TG.

- Then have TG and a bit of after :)

 

Is that doable and what am I missing of things that have to happen (prophecies or whatever)?

I think its quite interesting that a lot of the things listed here could potentially have been covered in earlier books, e.g. from PoD-KoD.  Particularly, I think it would have worked well to have Perrin progress further in TAR earlier, and for Egwene's plot with the White Tower to move a bit faster.  The Black Tower should also have been dealt with earlier as its placement in AMoL seemed really jarring with the rest of the plot.

 

I don't think the split was handled particularly well, particularly with regards to the Black Tower, and the decision to separate Mat and Perrin from Egwene and Rand chronologically which resulted in several key scenes losing impact (particularly Perrin witnessing Rand's epiphany at Dragonmount).  However, I do agree that there was too much character development still to go for it to be covered in one normal length book, or even for this to be thematically appropriate.  Particularly for Rand and Egwene.  The Dragonmount scene was very significant (both for Rand and the story as a whole).  I think it would have been very strange to situate this in the middle of a book, particularly one that also included the Last Battle.  I think perhaps two books rather than three might have been a possibility, with the first book perhaps being released in two volumes but being one continuous narrative, and the last book being the Last Battle with the Black Tower storyline cut out and some of the repetitive battle scenes removed.

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- Mat has to rescue Moiraine (oh I'd have her actually do something or figure something out lol).

 

 

She did do something, she kept Rand and Egwene from going to war with each other over the seals.  She did figure something out, she was the first to realize that The Dark One was a necessary part of the greater system involving The Pattern, The Creator and The Dark One.

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Lots of things got out of hand under RJ way before AMoL as he envisioned. That's a big discussion that I could probably be arm-twisted to take part in, depends on when and if I reread.

True and it's an important discussion to have. A thread in general concerning the mid-late portion of the series would be a good idea.

 

Just to toss out one perspective, Linda over at 13th Depository has an interesting take on the slow down:

 

I had a slightly different take on the slowdown. I see it as occurring because the Shadow is stymieing the Light with delay and distraction. They want the world to resist change: keep the nationalism, keep the factions, keep the anti-male channeller attitudes. That way there is division and not unity and cooperation. The world comes to a standstill, a giant spanner in the works. It can be broken then. RJ wanted the Shadow to really appear powerful and dangerous. (Showing a few more Shadow POVs would have helped, I believe, rather than holding everything over to the end.)

 

Rand being the agent of change - Lord of Chaos - had to break the societies into rubble drectly or indirectly, so that something fairer or more unified could be rebuilt. This parallels what happens with the Seals and Bore. It's meant to. When Fel wrote about clearing rubble before you can build it refers to the Land as much as to the Seals. Rand was naturally forcussed on the latter, but what Rand does is mirrored by what happens to the Land as a whole.

 

Jordan took a big risk writing the slowdown for two reasons. One is that it bores many readers, often because they can't see the purpose. Or they do see the purpose but didn't want it to go on so long (4 books, unheard of!). The other reason is that having bogged everything down, it can be difficult to get the plots going again. KOD is when RJ commenced the start up and some of it felt poorly paced.

It should also be noted that in series of this length, we have seen a good many authors struggle with how to handle that mid-late portion. It will be interesting to see what path Brandon takes in tWoK.

 

The question of whether you can get post KoD into 350k words is interesting enough for now.

I think 350K words would have been a stretch. Recall RJ said it would have been the largest book which currently stands at 393k for TSR. The most frequent suggestion and the one Brandon said would have been best for "hardcore" fans would be one large book at 500-600k split into two volumes.

 

Some quotes from Brandon:

 

 

BRANDON SANDERSON

I only had two choices with The Gathering Storm. Have a book more like Crossroads of Twilight with lots of slices of all characters, but without complete arcs for any...

BRANDON SANDERSON

Or do what I did, and make a Rand/Egwene book and a Mat/Perrin book with some time jumping.

BRANDON SANDERSON

Of course, this wouldn't have been a problem if it would have been possible to do a single, 600k word volume.

 

Would Robert Jordan have been able to do it in one book? Really? I don't know. I think that, if he'd lived, he might have worked some magic and gotten it done in one 400 or 500k volume.

Edited by Suttree
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Superficial gripe:

When ToM came out, and I looked at the cover, in association with the lead-up through the series that Mat giving up half the light of the world to save the world, that Moiraine was going to be a pivotal figure in terms of conflict resolution...So I was all oouuurigh, been looking forward to this!

Then the whole time reading it, it was like when Tebow was still at Florida, and all you ever heard on espn & associated broadcasts, was Tebow, tebow-tebow-tebow?, Tebow te-bow, tebow! Except with ToM  it was Perrin perrin-perrin, Perrin?, Ah! Perrin, and then Perrin! Perrin of course, with more Perrin-perrin chased with Perrin. Perrin for perrin!

Bleh, I felt so duped at the time - not to mention seeing the shallow execution on the follow through, compounding the irritation, as when we see Moiraine in AMoL doing uh..hmm...Well, she was there. I'm sure she looked pretty?

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 However, I do agree that there was too much character development still to go for it to be covered in one normal length book, or even for this to be thematically appropriate.  Particularly for Rand and Egwene.  The Dragonmount scene was very significant (both for Rand and the story as a whole).  I think it would have been very strange to situate this in the middle of a book, particularly one that also included the Last Battle

 

 

This is exactly right.  While some might be not thrilled with what we ultimately got, "one book", regardless of its length and however many "volumes" there would have been would not have worked.  Rand's arc demanded at least two books.

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@leopoled boothe,

"moiraine was the first to realize that the dark one was a necessary part of the greater syslem..."

when exactly did she figure this out?

 

let me clarify, she didn't necessarily figure out that there was a larger system involving The Pattern, Dark One and Creator.  She was, however, the first person suggest that the Dark One's existence was necessary.  She didn't get it completely right as she interpreted it as the DO being part of the pattern, an idea with has been contradicted by some of RJ's statements, but she got closer to the truth an anyone else in the series.  She made the suggestion of the DO being part of the pattern to Rand at the fields of M.

 

The overall point I was making is that while I would have liked to have seen more of her in AMOL her return was not irrelevant. 

Edited by Leopoled Boothe
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BRANDON SANDERSON
I only had two choices with The Gathering Storm. Have a book more like Crossroads of Twilight with lots of slices of all characters, but without complete arcs for any...
BRANDON SANDERSON
Or do what I did, and make a Rand/Egwene book and a Mat/Perrin book with some time jumping.
BRANDON SANDERSON
Of course, this wouldn't have been a problem if it would have been possible to do a single, 600k word volume.

 

 

I understand that the decision to split up the final book was a complicated one and many factors had to be had to be taken into account.  All things considered I cannot say whether splitting the book was the right choice of not, but still I think it could have been handled better.  I think it would have worked better as one Rand/Egwene/Perrin book (for reasons I've stated above) and one Mat/Elayne/Black Tower book.  I know this might have left ToM a little skimpy but he could have used the extra space to finish up the Black Tower arc in ToM instead of having it bleed over into AMoL.  Brandon could also have used this space to include more of Fain as he has said he wished had  been able to do.

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I still wonder. Yes, Rand needs character growth, but what we got was over in an instant anyway. Off the top of my head, it's arguable if anyone else does at this point (of course the answer is that why should they after 1.5million words over 20 years).

 

Perrin regresses every time he starts a new plot line. He wasn't even that broken up over whacking Arin or whatever his name was in KoD :)

 

Mat, Eg, Ny, El, others probably shouldn't change much over the remaining month now considering all they've been through. Ok, arguably El as ruler, which doesn't happen anyway and probably still shouldn't be much different from what she's been doing for the past half-year anyway. Post-KoD Eg is fine character-wise, it's just her situation. Granted I think using 1/8 of tGS to cover Eg stuff that had already happened was stupid.

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  • 2 weeks later...

"I think everyone gets too hung up on novel structure, yes you want some structure. We're at book 12 here, and no one is recommending reading a particular book as a stand-alone (and I think shoehorning in a structure that wasn't there was one of the biggest problems with tGS) :)"

This seems accurate. Getting hung up on structure doesn't make much sense. And after recently re-reading the Book of the New Sun series for the umpteenth time, there is no reason that the plot needs to speed up at the end of the series compared to the mid-late point of a series. There are numerous other examples where this has been shown not to be necessary. [Removed]

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
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"I think everyone gets too hung up on novel structure, yes you want some structure. We're at book 12 here, and no one is recommending reading a particular book as a stand-alone (and I think shoehorning in a structure that wasn't there was one of the biggest problems with tGS) :)"

 

This seems accurate. Getting hung up on structure doesn't make much sense. And after recently re-reading the Book of the New Sun series for the umpteenth time, there is no reason that the plot needs to speed up at the end of the series compared to the mid-late point of a series. There are numerous other examples where this has been shown not to be necessary. [Removed]

But Book of the New Sun is structurally solid throughout. I'm not sure how that helps your case? Also, BotNS did not have as many plot threads to draw together.

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The point is that there is no literary maxim that requires plot progression to accelerate in the end stages. The fact that plot threads need to be "drawn together," as you describe it, does not need to have a bearing on how many books or pages are best suited to complete the plot, and you haven't pointed to any authority, at all, which states otherwise. Although Book of the New Sun had less threads to pull together, it certainly had quite a few, to the extent that Urth of the New Sun was needed. For an effective argument, you need to be able to objectively deal with counter-arguments rather than relying upon conclusory statements. Many posters here seem able to do that.

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The point is that there is no literary maxim that requires plot progression to accelerate in the end stages. The fact that plot threads need to be "drawn together," as you describe it, does not need to have a bearing on how many books or pages are best suited to complete the plot, and you haven't pointed to any authority, at all, which states otherwise. Although Book of the New Sun had less threads to pull together, it certainly had quite a few, to the extent that Urth of the New Sun was needed. For an effective argument, you need to be able to objectively deal with counter-arguments rather than relying upon conclusory statements. Many posters here seem able to do that.

Soon as there's a counter argument beyond "you're wrong", I'll deal with it. As it is, your post doesn't address my argument at all, therefore cannot be seen as a counter to it. I never said that plot progression is required to accelerate in the end stages - it might do so, frequently, but it doesn't have to. As for plot threads drawing together, how could that not have a bearing on how many pages and books are suitable? Not in the sense of an absolute number can be put on it, but if things are clearly drawing towards a conclusion, then what literary maxim considers it good to indefinitely delay that conclusion in the not telling of the story? If my argument is "it should have been one because more than one caused structural issues", then the counter argument should be either that one book would cause similar structural issues, or that two, three or more books would not have had those issues.

Edited by Mr Ares
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You keep talking about the "structure" and why, in your opinion, the last three books have so many flaws. But, you have yet to provide any reasoning to support your conclusory statements beyond pointing to what others have said. Do you have any thoughts of your own on the matter?

 

Personally, I think any structural flaws are minimal, to the point where they did not affect my enjoyment of the last three books at all. I think the perfect example of why a single book would never have worked is how solid The Gathering Storm was from a structural perspective, especially with regard to Rand's plot arc. IMHO, Rand's arc in tGS is the best in the series, by far, since LoC. This is primarily why tGS is one of the fans' favorites. Rand's internal struggle and epiphany on DM works perfectly as a climax to a single book. How do you propose this would work as part of a single book? It's an extraordinary claim on your part, and you need to back it up so show beyond stating "others have addressed this." Do the hard work.

 

And after reading Brandon's recent retrospective on the writing process, his solutions to the three book requirement were more elegant than I thought. You should read them - the retrospective gives good insight into how a successful fantasy approaches his craft. Any aspiring writer could learn some valuable lessons.

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I think two of the worst structural decisions are: 1) splitting Rand's and Perrin's storylines so that we see Rand's epiphany from Perrin's viewpoint in a separate book and hundreds of pages after the event.  This removes any dramatic tension from Perrin's scene because we already know the outcome of Rand's mental struggle.

 

and 2) the Black Tower section of the plot.  Having a large chunk of this occurring during AMoL felt really wrong.  All the other plot threads were gearing up for the Last Battle, and the Androl-Pevara plot lagged too far behind for the first third of the book.  This is a flaw that BS has accepted - he felt it would be structurally better to have the entire Black Tower plot occur prior to AMoL.

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