The Wheel of Time

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by backstept, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. backstept

    backstept Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    For the past year I've been reading The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. I'm now just starting book 12.
    With 2 books to go after this one I kinda feel like I don't want to finish . . .
    It has become my favorite fantasy series along with A Song of Ice and Fire, and of course Tolkien's work.

    Jordan's writing isn't as gritty as Martin's, and not as masterful as Tolkien's, but the world he created is immense and dense with detail. I feel like I've watched the characters grow up :D

    any other WOT fans on the board?
     
  2. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    I enjoyed WoT up through book 7, A Crown of Swords, but when I found out it wasn't the last book in the series (I got into the series when the seventh was the latest book out), I rather hit a wall in my interest. The early books were released almost yearly; the recent ones, prior to the author's existence failure, were released about every three years. I've been buying the books in paperback for my library, but I'll wait to read them until the series is complete.

    The density of detail, as you call it, is one of the features of the books that tends to turn people off, I think. Describing a dress in detail for more than a page, or even more than a paragraph, is unnecessary - it doesn't move the plot along. Frankly, Jordan seemed to be writing just for the money, assuming he was paid by the word. Editing the unnecessary details out would probably reduce books 7-11 to half the length, which wouldn't hurt.

    The glacial pace of the plot annoys me. If the series needed to stretch to 14 books, I'd expect the epic tale of good-vs-evil to stretch over a decade or more, not the three years or so that seem to have elapsed in-universe from The Eye of the World.
     
  3. Stiletto

    Stiletto Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I heard a rumor that the last book was finished in late December 2011 and it has been sent off to the editors for more polishing. We should be getting it late this year!
     
  4. Agenda

    Agenda Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Started becoming disinterested at Book 7. Lost the plot at Book 8. Someone has to give me credit for sticking with it that far.

    Even very successful writers need editors who can crack the whip on 'em. But as they become more and more famous, they're allowed more freedom which ironically can be the death knell for any great series.
     
  5. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I haven't gotten to them yet, but I have Eye of the World on Nook Wishlist, and plan on reading it some time in the next few months.
    Is the comic adaptation any good? It seems like a situation where there's a chance that something visual like that could actually be better, since you don't have to deal with all of the details that could drag out the story in the novels.
     
  6. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The comic adaptation has been disappointing so far, it's written by Chuck Dixon. The art is really good though. I've been a WOT fan since discovering the series when I was 13 years old and flew through the first four or five books. It lags in the middle part of the series but Brandon Sanderson has picked things up nobly since taking over for RJ.

    Sanderson indeed completed the first draft of the manuscript for the final book which he stated would probably be published between March and November but not before November. Everyone seems to be expecting it in November since that has been roughly when the last two books have been released. Brandon tweeted that the last scenes he wrote were pretty emotional for him. It is still titled Memory of Light. I'm really excited for it as well.
     
  7. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    For the record, novelists aren't paid by the word. That's a magazine thing.
     
  8. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, sure, like you would know! :p ;)

    I've recently gotten interested in The Wheel of Time again after taking a break from it for several years. I'm thinking of reading The Eye of the World again after finishing the book I'm currently on. I only got partway through The Dragon Reborn when I stopped, and it's been a while since then, so I figured I might as well start over.
     
  9. Agenda

    Agenda Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You'd know this, Greg. How much leeway are well known authors usually given by publishers compared to lesser known authors?
     
  10. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I hear there was a fourth little pig who built a house of paper using the Wheel of Time books as blocks.
     
  11. Caliburn24

    Caliburn24 Commodore Commodore

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    Started the series back in the nineties, read it again at some point, considering rereading it a third time just before Memory of Light comes out. Absolutely one of my favorite fantasy series, but is it because it is good, or because I grew up with it? Not sure. Most of the criticism leveled against it are quite valid, and starting from book seven or so the pace of things slows to a glacial crawl and the cast of characters becomes too large to be manageable or satisfying. Oh, and large numbers of the female characters(and more than a few male ones) are horribly, horribly annoying.

    Sanderson has done a good job so far in wrapping things up(even if he doesn't quite feel like Jordan), but there is so much stuff left to do that it seems the last book is going to have to be a thousand pages long and move faster than Eye of the World to get everything done. And after so much lengthy build up, so many years, is that really going to satisfying? I hope it will be, fingers crossed. Please, please don't pull a Smallville where you build things up for ten years then give us a few seconds of what we've been wanting.
     
  12. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    You mean regarding word counts? Typically, the word count is spelled out in the contract, although these are usually just considered guidelines. As a rule, nobody has a cow if a book contracted to be around 80,000 words comes in around 78,000 or 100,000 words instead. Now if it came in at 200,000 words instead, that might be an issue, but, sure, nobody is going to complain if Stephen King or Robert Jordan runs longer than anticipated (although at some point there might be a discussion of splitting the book into volumes).
     
  13. Agenda

    Agenda Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That's interesting (genuinely), but I was wondering more about the content or quality of the writing. If a famous author is writing something that the publisher isn't pleased with, how much power does it have to control his/her work? Do they even dare object or suggest? Do you know what I mean?
     
  14. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Honestly, there's no one-size-fits-all answer to that. Naturally, big name authors have more clout than less profitable authors, but how the editing process works is going to depend on the individual issues and personalities involved. Sometimes authors and publishers are on the same page, sometime they have creative differences. How these are resolved is going to vary on a case-by-case basis.

    (And, of course, Robert Jordan was married to his editor, so that's a very special case!)

    In my experience, some big name authors are more open to constructive criticism than others . . . but, really, that applies to first-time novelists and mid-listers as well! :)
     
  15. Agenda

    Agenda Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ROFL, well that explains a lot. Anyways, thanks.
     
  16. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ I thought it was well known among fans of the novels that Harriet was RJ...and now Sanderson's editor. She has had I think final approval over all the manuscripts.
     
  17. DeadmeatDiggory

    DeadmeatDiggory Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm just hoping I can get through the last book in the series before our own last battle this December. F**kin' Mayans.
     
  18. intrinsical

    intrinsical Commodore Commodore

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    I do have to say that Brandon Sanderson has done a pretty good job of wrapping up the story. The characters seem much more fleshed out than when Robert Jordan was writing, which makes the task of relating to them easier. Even Cadsuane, whom I previously cannot stand, now seem a lot more sensible and wise under Sanderson's touch.

    On the other hand I do miss the way Robert Jordan is able to vividly paint action sequences and convey in loving detail what's happening on a battlefield. The battle at Dumai's Wells is the perfect example. How easily Jordan was able to convey the hopelessness as tens of thousands of Shaido surrounded the White Tower's paltry force of a few thousand when suddenly gateways appear out of no where as Asha'man pour through them, blasting away with One power as another contingent of Asha'man link up in circles to form shields of air that merge as more and more shields are patched together until a giant silvery dome protectively surround Rand's forces.

    With the final battle looming, I do have to wonder how Brandon Sanderson will be able to handle the clashing of armies.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  19. backstept

    backstept Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    there have certainly been some epic battles, and Dumai's Wells was certainly the most epic
    I really hope Tarmon Gaidon lives up to all the decades of anticipation

    on a side note . . . am I the only one who pictures Alexander Siddig as Davram Bashere? :P
    (Bashir/Bashere :guffaw:)
     
  20. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I did try to get into this series, but I don't think I even made it to the end of the third book...or was it the fourth? Honestly they all blur together for me so much I can't even remember what had happened by the time I lost interest. Part of the problem for me (and it's a peeve I have with several of these long running series fantasy books) is that it quickly becomes apparent that the author knows exactly how the last book is going to play out, could write it at any time but is determined to milk the story for all it's worth and for as long as possible. The thing with that is that by the end, all the drama, danger and urgency that was there at the beginning is long since spent and nothing can live up to all that build up.
     

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