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Wheel of Time Discussion - Spoilers(with book spoilers)

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I liked the first book, but that wasn't enough to keep going. He, like Martin, needed an editor very badly. I stopped in book 4 or 5, as TO ME, it seemed nothing was happening at all. To me it was just the same scenes/story over and over. That said, I remember almost nothing from the books, so who knows, I could be wrong....

My point being, liking his prose wasn't enough for me, and for a lot of people that quit about where I did in the story.
I can see that: however, most I know who tried either bounced off Eye of the World hard or went the distance.
 

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Mercurius

Legend
It wasn't simply that Jordan needed an editor, its that he originally planned WoT to be five books and when it took off, his publisher said, "More, please." So I think it is a combination of both factors: The publisher asking for more (and him reaping the financial rewards) and his generally long-winded style and obsessive attention to detail and minutia.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Wow, folks made a big deal of that?
It was the frequency, more than the act itself. We all have things we do when nervous or angry, but we don't do them any times. Nynaeve did tug the braid almost any time, and it got to the point where it detracted a bit from her anger at the situation. Especially when Jordan would add a qualifier to it like, "Naeneve tugged at her braid furiously." giving me the image her yanking on it repeatedly and hard, making her head move around.

Did it get annoying? A little bit. It wasn't a major deal, but it was noticeable.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
It wasn't simply that Jordan needed an editor, its that he originally planned WoT to be five books and when it took off, his publisher said, "More, please." So I think it is a combination of both factors: The publisher asking for more (and him reaping the financial rewards) and his generally long-winded style and obsessive attention to detail and minutia.
I heard him speak at a book signing once: he spoke exactly like he wrote, and his anecdotal sharing was structured exactly like his novels: slow and languid with an eye to detail, but with a strong punchline.

Having met t George R. R. Martin and Terry Pratchett under similar circumstances, I can say that those three writers all speak exactly the same way they write, and I strongly suspect this pattern would hold for most good writers.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I heard him speak at a book signing once: he spoke exactly like he wrote, and his anecdotal sharing was structured exactly like his novels: slow and languid with an eye to detail, but with a strong punchline.

Having met t George R. R. Martin and Terry Pratchett under similar circumstances, I can say that those three writers all speak exactly the same way they write, and I strongly suspect this pattern would hold for most good writers.
I'm jealous! Not about Martin. His inability to finish a book in anything resembling a reasonable amount of time has completely turned me off to him. I'm jealous about Pratchett. If he talked how he wrote, he must have had a brilliant sense of humor.
 

Mercurius

Legend
I heard him speak at a book signing once: he spoke exactly like he wrote, and his anecdotal sharing was structured exactly like his novels: slow and languid with an eye to detail, but with a strong punchline.

Having met t George R. R. Martin and Terry Pratchett under similar circumstances, I can say that those three writers all speak exactly the same way they write, and I strongly suspect this pattern would hold for most good writers.
Interesting. I also saw Jordan, back in the mid-90s at Powell's books in Portland, OR. I vaguely remember his cane and somewhat Victorian style.

I find it interesting just how much an author's writing reflects their personality. I think that's partially why I couldn't get through Name of the Wind. It isn't that I dislike Rothfuss as a person (I don't know him), but when I see him in author panels he completely dominates the conversation, even to the point of not giving the other authors a chance to talk without chiming in with his two cents. Rothfuss evidently really likes being a celebrity (or maybe love-hates).
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I'm jealous! Not about Martin. His inability to finish a book in anything resembling a reasonable amount of time has completely turned me off to him. I'm jealous about Pratchett. If he talked how he wrote, he must have had a brilliant sense of humor.
I mean, ironically it was a signing for A Feast of Crows, which was the shark jumping moment for me with the series and Martin as a writer. But still, it was interesting to me that he wrote the same way thst he spoke, precisely. Humorously enough, I was probably one of the first people to teach A Song of Ice & Fire in a classroom setting st the time as an undergraduate.

I got two books signed by Pratchett on different tours: "Thud" and I believe "Unseen Academicals". He was hilarious and brilliant in person.
 
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payn

Legend
I mean, ironically it was a signing for A Feast of Crows, which was the shark jumping moment for me with the series and Martin as a writer. But still, it was interesting to me that he wrote the same way thst he spoke, precisely. Humorously enough, I was probably one of the first people to teach A Song of Ice & Fire in a classroom setting st the time as an undergraduate.

I got two books signed by Pratchett on different tours: "Thid" and I believe "Unseen Academicals". He was hilarious and brilliant in person.
I was a little slow, it was A Dance with Dragons that jumped the shark for me. Thats a cool story tho.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I was a little slow, it was A Dance with Dragons that jumped the shark for me. Thats a cool story tho.
Yeah, I think the act of teaching from the texts and discussing them with a bunch of other sharp undergraduates undermined the fun for me considerably as the analysis glasses went on.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
I liked the first book, but that wasn't enough to keep going. He, like Martin, needed an editor very badly. I stopped in book 4 or 5, as TO ME, it seemed nothing was happening at all. To me it was just the same scenes/story over and over. That said, I remember almost nothing from the books, so who knows, I could be wrong....

My point being, liking his prose wasn't enough for me, and for a lot of people that quit about where I did in the story.

Jordan HAD an editor - his wife, and that was the problem.

She was by all accounts an excellent editor (acknowledged as the top editor at a fairly prestigious publishing house) - but she was just to close and couldn't edit as objectively as with a "regular" client.

Somewhere into the series she even acknowledged that while she was still the listed editor she basically let her husband do his own editing and while she might offer input she wouldn't force changes.
 

Jordan HAD an editor - his wife, and that was the problem.

She was by all accounts an excellent editor (acknowledged as the top editor at a fairly prestigious publishing house) - but she was just to close and couldn't edit as objectively as with a "regular" client.

Somewhere into the series she even acknowledged that while she was still the listed editor she basically let her husband do his own editing and while she might offer input she wouldn't force changes.
And as a result, having to cut things for a televised version of the series is something of a silver lining at times, especially in some of the middle books wheres there's plenty of room for pruning excess material...
 

And as a result, having to cut things for a televised version of the series is something of a silver lining at times, especially in some of the middle books wheres there's plenty of room for pruning excess material...
That's certainly something I'm looking forward to with the TV series -- some solid editing and streamlining (to be fair, ASOIAF really needs this in spades, especially post-ASOS).

I stalled out and crashed on the books about book 7 when long stretches of nothing happening but skirt smoothing, sniffing, and braid tugging happened. My wife and I eventually came back and listened to the entire series on audiobook on long trips, which made it more palatable,. I still think Brandon Sanderson was the best thing to happen to the series. Jordan set up the win, but he was not a closer -- Sanderson is a closer.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
That's certainly something I'm looking forward to with the TV series -- some solid editing and streamlining (to be fair, ASOIAF really needs this in spades, especially post-ASOS).

I stalled out and crashed on the books about book 7 when long stretches of nothing happening but skirt smoothing, sniffing, and braid tugging happened. My wife and I eventually came back and listened to the entire series on audiobook on long trips, which made it more palatable,. I still think Brandon Sanderson was the best thing to happen to the series. Jordan set up the win, but he was not a closer -- Sanderson is a closer.
I think Jordan could have finished eventually...but it wouldn't have been as efficient.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
And given Rand's personality as Jordan wrote it, I sincerely doubt Rand would have ended things the way that he did.
I dunno, I think that is how Jordan meant it to end (since IIRC that was 100% his text, no Sanderson), but he had some difficulty making the final connection.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
I don’t know why people think Jordan wouldn’t have finished. In Book 11 he moves the plot on extensively.

I really do think books 10-15 fly by.

Though I do agree with @Olgar Shiverstone that the audio books are a great way to enjoy the series.
Given how desperate he was to have one final book, yet how.packed 12-14 ended up being, it's unclear how he would have ended it in the final tally. I think he would have, but it may have taken more time.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
It has been too long since I read one of his books (about 25 years) to agree or disagree on his characters, but I do remember being immersed and liking his characterization, for the most part. One of his well-known weaknesses was the saminess of his females, all sort of Polgara variants (and the infamous tugging of braids), but that is hardly unusual for male writers.
None of them are even similar to any of the others, and frankly I'm not sure any are similar to Polgara.
The braid tugging is down more to Jordan's interest in small details that a more pro writer, like Sanderson or Martin, might not dwell on. Jordan's stated influences were all 19th century authors, and sometimes it shows.
You might want to read up on James Oliver Rigney's other credits under other names and his other work under the pseudonym Robert Jordan, such as his many Conan works which are widely considered some of the best works by secondary authors, before calling either of those authors more "pro" than him.

I like Sanderson, but he is absolutely in Jordan's shadow in nearly every respect, and Martin is...fine, but overrated, and his impact is nowhere near that of Jordan's, nor is his body of work.

The small details are not a weakness, they're just a style of writing that you don't necessarily prefer.
 



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