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  1. #61
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    ah you posted before my edit. Not sure if that makes a difference?

    IMO from only reading Mistborn i'd rank Sanderson as slighty above average but a long way away from a master storyteller.

    From tGS he failed in the climaxes for me. The tension was bulit but when the climaxes came about I felt he got to wordy(obviously trying to imitate RJ but doing so at the wrong time) and the tension drained away before the climaxes were achieved. That was my experience from listening to the audio book but perhaps I might not get the same feeling when I actually read it.

  2. #62
    It never entered my mind algernoninc's Avatar
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    fanboy is not derogatory for me. I admit it has been overused on the net, and "enthusiast" is probably a safer choice.
    I myself am a fanboy of Guy Gavriel Kay and K J Parker, and my reviews are slanted, ignoring any shortcomings and sometimes getting annoyed when another reader fails to see the appeal.

  3. #63
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    Crikey even the bots hate RJ... bugger off spambot.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by algernoninc View Post
    every book has characterization and plot, i was trying to challenge the "much deeper ways".
    Well, challenging with broad generalization is hard to respond to. Personally, while some of the twists could be seen a few hundred pages in advances, it wasn't true i could see more than a few of them books in advances (and they were planned that way) .

    Characterization... i honestly liked it. I didn't feel the characters were 1-dimensional at all, though maybe it's because i could feel the way they were thinking easily (e.g that type of writing worked for me and revealed the characters, while it may not have worked for you at all).

    I know this can happen, as there are quite a few fantasy books i found the characterization of painfully bad but constantly hear how good it is and so on.

  5. #65
    Elantris was really good. Warbreaker was ok. It seems Sanderson is falling into some sort of weird trend where he attempts to infuse some sort of political drama into every one of his books. This seems repetitive to me. I can only imagine he'll do the same with his next book considering the title. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm beginning to get tired of the whole, bad guys come with huge army to storm the castle and good guys have to protect it theme.

  6. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisW View Post
    From tGS he failed in the climaxes for me. The tension was bulit but when the climaxes came about I felt he got to wordy(obviously trying to imitate RJ but doing so at the wrong time) and the tension drained away before the climaxes were achieved. That was my experience from listening to the audio book but perhaps I might not get the same feeling when I actually read it.
    We don't know which parts were written by BS and which were written by RJ.

  7. #67
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    unless that's a royal we, don't include me in your we. I'm quite capable of working out which parts sound like RJ and which don't. Granted he was sick so may have been off his game but imo most of the book was clearly Sanderson imo and unless I change my mind when I actually read the book I'll stand by my opinion that Sanderson wrote(following the guideline) most if not all the major scenes in the book.

    Could be completely wrong, time will tell.

  8. #68
    Peckish hippokrene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rolyo View Post
    Both write fantasy, both write plotlines, and both write characters? How is that enough for comparison? Apart from the "fantasy" part, EVERY AUTHOR in any type of fiction EVER writes plotlines and characters.
    Which is how we can compare the works of authors from different periods and genres. All stories have the same building blocks: characters, plot, setting, and conflicts. Outside of oral traditions and collaborative work, these stories are the product of a single author and when we compare the works, we're also comparing the various skills of the authors.

  9. #69
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    Personally I really enjoyed Mistborn: The Final Empire. When I read it the first time, it hit me at a good point in life. I don't know why, but it really resonated with me, much more than Elantris did. I think it may have had to do with the amount of time I had available to me. It was released in the summer during my college years, and I was only working a light part time job. So I sat down and read it in a few days. I thought it was pretty darn brilliant at the time.

    Algernonic mentioned that he found the trilogy's characters to be lifted from blockbuster movies. And it was a turn-off. That's a fair assesment of the characers, but I believe it may have been what Sanderson was after. On his website, Sanderson describes Mistborn this way: "It's a hybrid epic fantasy heist story with a focus on political intrigue and powerful action scenes." For me, this was a turn-on to the story. Before it came out, I heard him in an interview describe it as an homage to movies like Ocean's Eleven. That sounded pretty ambitious, so I thought it was really intriguing. Although it moved away from the heist genre, I think the characters left over, especially the thieves crew, were meant to be a respectful nod to that.

    About his magic systems, I think that part of his writing is a byproduct of his very public "gaming" lifestyle. Sanderson is always talking about how RPGs have influenced him and how he develops his magic. I know he's involved in a weekly game, and he routinely holds Magic tournaments with fans while touring. He has a podcast with a couple of other writers, and they've gone so far as to suggest that wannabe writers run RPG sessions to beta test their world systems. Since he's so immersed in that environment, it may seem very natural to him to go into detail about his magic.

    To address his writing style, I personally find it refreshing for the most. It was kind of odd, though, when I realized how many contractions he uses. Also, he has a habit of cutting a ton out of his drafts. Right now, he's editing The Towers of Midnight. If you follow him on twitter or facebook, he's always updating about how much he's removing (in terms of word count percentage) from the chapters. Sometimes it's as much as 18% of what's drafted.

    As to characterization in general, I personally enjoy his stuff. I know he's always getting positive reviews from Romantic Times. I'd think they'd might pay more attention to how women are written than most casual male readers. Mistborn: The Final Empire even made their All Time Favorites list.

    Also, comparing his works to YA aren't totally out of place. He does write the Alcatraz series, which are meant for younger readers. He is a person with strong religious convictions (he's a member of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). Writing "gritty" fiction may conflict with his personal belief system.

    My biggest criticism of Sanderson's writing is how he begins his books. With the exception of Mistborn: The Final Empire, I've had the same experience. I'll read about the first third of the story, then I'll put it down, sometimes for a couple of months at a time. Then, I'll pick it up and finish the novel in record time. I read two thirds of Mistborn: Hero of Ages in a single day (without skimming). I don't know if his books just start out slowly, or if it has to do with how busy my personal schedule is at the time his books come out.

    About his place in the fantasy author "hierarchy," I think time will tell. Obviously, at this point, he's not won any of the major awards (Hugo, Nebula, et cetera), which seems to be a pretty good indicator whether or not an author may have staying power. But neither have Rothfuss or Lynch, who seem to be the other Young Turks he gets compared to the most. I've read works by all three, and Sanderson seems to fit my personal tastes the best. Sanderson has certainly had more success in publishing more books (nine novels in five years), but that's not fair to the others. Rothfuss has been put in the awkward position of playing catch-up to his own success. Lynch has had some severe health-related issues, so a break-neck pace hasn't been feasible. I guess we'll have to see whose books hit the remainders tables the fastest.

    I don't think it's terribly fair to compare him to Martin, though, just because of the different places where they are in their careers. Martin is a very seasoned multiple award-winning veteran who has written in Hollywood and has been selling novels for 30-odd years. A Song of Ice and Fire is a very strong series, but it's the culmination of multiple decades of experience. Mistborn: The Final Empire was Sanderson's sophmore outing released only one year after Elantris. I think any comparisons of that type should be put on hold at least until several novels have been released in Sanderson's Stormlight Archive series.

  10. #70
    Registered User Roland 85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hippokrene View Post
    Which is how we can compare the works of authors from different periods and genres. All stories have the same building blocks: characters, plot, setting, and conflicts. Outside of oral traditions and collaborative work, these stories are the product of a single author and when we compare the works, we're also comparing the various skills of the authors.
    This is no way to compare, because it suggests absolutes, and there are no absolutes in art. High Fantasy DOES NOT require as much characterization as, say, slice-of-life drama. Nor does romance require as many plot-twists as for example horror. That doesn't mean that a high fantasy novel will always be worse compared to a slice-of-life drama, simply because its character are shallower. There is no rule that says that characters have to be deep and multi-layered no matter the type of novel. Every genre, and every sub-genre too, has its own purposes, requirements and important elements. And even those vary from book to book, from year to year. To compare something so general as "characters" or "plot" is ridiculous. Also, what is a "good" character? How is a plot "good" or "bad"? Would the pacing of Martin's ASoIaF plot be appropriate to an action space opera? Would it mean that it's a "bad" plot if it were used there?
    Last edited by Roland 85; July 14th, 2010 at 03:44 PM.

  11. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by Avi_stetto View Post
    Personally I really enjoyed Mistborn: The Final Empire. When I read it the first time, it hit me at a good point in life. I don't know why, but it really resonated with me, much more than Elantris did. I think it may have had to do with the amount of time I had available to me. It was released in the summer during my college years, and I was only working a light part time job. So I sat down and read it in a few days. I thought it was pretty darn brilliant at the time.

    Algernonic mentioned that he found the trilogy's characters to be lifted from blockbuster movies. And it was a turn-off. That's a fair assesment of the characers, but I believe it may have been what Sanderson was after. On his website, Sanderson describes Mistborn this way: "It's a hybrid epic fantasy heist story with a focus on political intrigue and powerful action scenes." For me, this was a turn-on to the story. Before it came out, I heard him in an interview describe it as an homage to movies like Ocean's Eleven. That sounded pretty ambitious, so I thought it was really intriguing. Although it moved away from the heist genre, I think the characters left over, especially the thieves crew, were meant to be a respectful nod to that.

    About his magic systems, I think that part of his writing is a byproduct of his very public "gaming" lifestyle. Sanderson is always talking about how RPGs have influenced him and how he develops his magic. I know he's involved in a weekly game, and he routinely holds Magic tournaments with fans while touring. He has a podcast with a couple of other writers, and they've gone so far as to suggest that wannabe writers run RPG sessions to beta test their world systems. Since he's so immersed in that environment, it may seem very natural to him to go into detail about his magic.

    To address his writing style, I personally find it refreshing for the most. It was kind of odd, though, when I realized how many contractions he uses. Also, he has a habit of cutting a ton out of his drafts. Right now, he's editing The Towers of Midnight. If you follow him on twitter or facebook, he's always updating about how much he's removing (in terms of word count percentage) from the chapters. Sometimes it's as much as 18% of what's drafted.

    As to characterization in general, I personally enjoy his stuff. I know he's always getting positive reviews from Romantic Times. I'd think they'd might pay more attention to how women are written than most casual male readers. Mistborn: The Final Empire even made their All Time Favorites list.

    Also, comparing his works to YA aren't totally out of place. He does write the Alcatraz series, which are meant for younger readers. He is a person with strong religious convictions (he's a member of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). Writing "gritty" fiction may conflict with his personal belief system.

    My biggest criticism of Sanderson's writing is how he begins his books. With the exception of Mistborn: The Final Empire, I've had the same experience. I'll read about the first third of the story, then I'll put it down, sometimes for a couple of months at a time. Then, I'll pick it up and finish the novel in record time. I read two thirds of Mistborn: Hero of Ages in a single day (without skimming). I don't know if his books just start out slowly, or if it has to do with how busy my personal schedule is at the time his books come out.

    About his place in the fantasy author "hierarchy," I think time will tell. Obviously, at this point, he's not won any of the major awards (Hugo, Nebula, et cetera), which seems to be a pretty good indicator whether or not an author may have staying power. But neither have Rothfuss or Lynch, who seem to be the other Young Turks he gets compared to the most. I've read works by all three, and Sanderson seems to fit my personal tastes the best. Sanderson has certainly had more success in publishing more books (nine novels in five years), but that's not fair to the others. Rothfuss has been put in the awkward position of playing catch-up to his own success. Lynch has had some severe health-related issues, so a break-neck pace hasn't been feasible. I guess we'll have to see whose books hit the remainders tables the fastest.

    I don't think it's terribly fair to compare him to Martin, though, just because of the different places where they are in their careers. Martin is a very seasoned multiple award-winning veteran who has written in Hollywood and has been selling novels for 30-odd years. A Song of Ice and Fire is a very strong series, but it's the culmination of multiple decades of experience. Mistborn: The Final Empire was Sanderson's sophmore outing released only one year after Elantris. I think any comparisons of that type should be put on hold at least until several novels have been released in Sanderson's Stormlight Archive series.
    Call me what you want, but for that fact alone (underlined) I don't think I will ever read anything by him again. And I don't see how not being "gritty" is an excuse for cardboard world and characters.
    And yea, "political intrigue" and "powerful action scenes"? Give me a break. Seeing people defend and praise it, just leads me to believe that a lot of them simply aren't familiar with better literature.

  12. #72
    Registered User Roland 85's Avatar
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    Or maybe you just can't accept the fact that so many people loved something that didn't work for you? Btw, "gritty" is overrated. Vastly.

  13. #73
    Maybe I can't. Good point. And I agree, overrated it may be, however, I'm sure there's plenty of YA fantasy authors who write non-gritty stuff who aren't awful. In my limited experience, Asprin and Rowling come to mind. Maybe I wrong.

  14. #74
    Registered User Roland 85's Avatar
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    You definitely are. Considering the fact that more than half of the best fantasy ever written is NOT gritty (and neither is it YA). I notice neither Lord of the Rings, nor Earthsea, nor indeed The Chronicles of Amber, Riftwar Saga or The Wheel of Time have any trace of grittiness in them... I am tired of explaining how "lack of grittiness" does not equal YA, so I'll just ignore those comments from now on.

  15. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by kirk View Post
    Call me what you want, but for that fact alone (underlined) I don't think I will ever read anything by him again. And I don't see how not being "gritty" is an excuse for cardboard world and characters.
    Let me get this straight - you won't read anything by Sanderson ever again because he's a member of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Or is it because his beliefs "may" stop him from writing gritty stuff? The latter claim sounds really dubious to me. Orson Scott Card is a devout member of the same church yet some of his books are as gritty as it gets, Ender's Game for example.
    Last edited by Zeratul; July 14th, 2010 at 04:59 PM.

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