TheHeadlessHorseman

Does anyone else not like GRRMs writing style?

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I like the content of the book but the writing style just throws me off. I don't read many books, I used to only read children's books but then I stopped and years later read a couple pages of a book called Eragon I didn't like it so I stopped then I read Twilight but then stopped about three quarters into Breaking Dawn because it just kept going so I lost interest and I haven't read a book till now. I am up to Page 94 in A Game of Thrones and I haven't picked the book up since late last afternoon I really want to read it but the writing just seems dry to me, it reminds me of my writing style it tells you what's what, who's who and what's happening in a very straight forward formart but with no flavour it's like you've got the lasagana, you can tell it's lasanaga. it looks good, smells good but then you taste it and it's got no flavour that's the best way I can describe this book and it's soooo long and I've heard it's not even the longest book I've been reading for days and I'm not even half way done with the damn thing when I read Twilight I finished the first three books in under a week but this book just keeps going and I'm not even halfway there it's killing me. 

 

Does anyone else find GRRMs writing style bland, do you like the books content but just not the writing style, do you not like the books content at all, do you like the writing style? and whose your favourite character so far. I'm a big fan of The TV Series so my fave chars always been Daenerys and will continue to be her.

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Posted (edited)

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and presume you're not trolling. (Being a first time poster, being unreplied for a day, and mentioning that Twilight thing...)

I totally understand what you're thinking, but it must be said that when it comes to litterature, the thing you're describing is actually quite revered as good writing. Being this relatively sparse with your adjectives (imagine the length of the books if he hadn't been!) and leaving all that space for the reader's own imagination is quite respectful to a vivid reader and something many brilliant authors work with. Sounding poetic or describing everything in detail isn't always a sign of good writing, although I personally quite like it.

You can write it

"The cold, white snow was falling on his long, flowing hair and steely chainmail"

but why not just write

"Snow fell on his hair and chainmail"

and leave the scene to the reader to imagine?

Since this is art and not science, it's always just matter of opinion of course. But the second alternative isn't bad writing. Some readers like lots of details, but many readers prefer a shorter, more dense writing. The first alternative might even be considered quite amateurish by many "experts" of litterature. Me personally, I can't choose which is the best. I guess a mixture is good. 

But with that said, there are some very silly things in GRRM's writing style that really puts me off. The two main things that I very much dislike is his use of italics. All those sound effects and typing out thoughts as sentences. Writing sound effects is very risky. Most of the time it only comes out silly. I don't need to read how a crossbow shot sounds. To my eyes, it looks very bad. 
And when all the writing is entirely POV, why would you type out thoughts as separate sentences, followed by "... she thought".
I'm not saying it's objectively bad writing, only that I don't like it.

But hey, overall he's a fantastic author. The characters, the plot, the dialogue. Brilliant work. He's certainly not my favourite WRITER, but he might be my favourite STORY TELLER. 

(First post on this forum, by the way! Hello everybody! I have been reading the forum for some time, but since most topics seem to be "is Varys and Jaime actually the same person that has come from outer space" it's hard to reply anywhere if you wan't to keep things polite.)  

Edited by Daniel von Gothenburg

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I get what you're saying too. It is a very dense, multi-layered story and even points of high drama are often told in such a matter-of-fact way that I sometimes had to stop and say "whoa, what just happened there." And even then, I often didn't get the implications of the action until multiple chapters, or even full novels, later when the consequences came back.

So, no, Martin is not someone you turn to for a quick read or a simple, plot-driven story. Much of what's important, in fact, is in the subtext or the backstory or lateral action or anywhere else but on the page in front of you. The fun of it, for me at least, is trying to figure out what's really going on beyond the POV that you happen to be reading. Remember, just because the POV sees something and interprets it in a certain way doesn't mean the reader is getting the full, unvarnished truth of the matter. It's a key difference from a normal, dispassionate narrator or even a first-person story.

There is also the fact that the plot in aSoIaF is not going to follow a linear path to a logical conclusion. It sort of wanders here and there with things happening that have no point or serve no literary purpose. Kind of like real life where sometimes death has no meaning and things are left unsaid, unfinished and stories aren't wrapped up all nice and cleanly.

But I will add that the real majesty of the series didn't hit for me until the second read, where you have foreknowledge of what's coming and you can see all of the little hints and foreshadowings that led up to it.

I would say that if you're already starting to flag on Thrones than maybe this isn't right for you. It only gets more complicated from there.

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On 4/9/2017 at 2:36 AM, TheHeadlessHorseman said:

 

Does anyone else find GRRMs writing style bland, do you like the books content but just not the writing style, do you not like the books content at all, do you like the writing style? and whose your favourite character so far. I'm a big fan of The TV Series so my fave chars always been Daenerys and will continue to be her.

This line alone makes me suspicious of who you are as a new poster and what your intent is. Sorry, but you are casting a lot of judgement while admitting you haven't even read the first 100 pages. Like others here, I am suspicious of this threads intent.

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I hate most of the dialogue in the Arya and Theon chapters, To be true to POV most of the dialogue should be replaced by the phrase "
person X and Y and Z  said a lot of things that were not related to my main priority of staying alive so they were ignored " and break POV and add some traditional narration. 

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On 4/9/2017 at 0:06 PM, TheHeadlessHorseman said:

I like the content of the book but the writing style just throws me off. I don't read many books, I used to only read children's books but then I stopped and years later read a couple pages of a book called Eragon I didn't like it so I stopped then I read Twilight but then stopped about three quarters into Breaking Dawn because it just kept going so I lost interest and I haven't read a book till now. ....

You are obviously not a reader. Or at least not someone who gets invested. GRRM has a matter-of-fact writing style in the ASOIAF series because that's only what works. The story is really dense and complex and he needs that sort of journalistic, historical style to convey events in a way that wouldn't confuse a reader. The story is also really long, so there's no place for purple prose. When I start reading it I'm into about 100 pages without even noticing that I've read that much because the writing style flows fast. That's the intention. He couldn't have used different styles for different POVs but I suspect that would have disrupted the flow of the story. And people may have missed the hints he throws in here and there hinting at major future events. Also, it would have involved a lot more work. 

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There have been many books where the content sounds like something I would enjoy, but actually reading it is unbearable (such as Lord of the Rings and Percy Jackson). I also don't like writing that goes on and on with fancy details, so a straight-forward writing style is a good fit for me. Still, as with most books, it took about 100 pages for me to really get into AGOT when I first started reading.

Edited by 4 Eyed Crow

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On 4/10/2017 at 8:29 AM, Daniel von Gothenburg said:

He's certainly not my favourite WRITER, but he might be my favourite STORY TELLER. 

I think that's a good statement about GRRM, some things in his writing drive me crazy, but the story he has constructed is magnificent in scale, imagination, and emotion.  The story is what brought everyone here to this forum.

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