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Jaerid

Am I missing something about Mistborn? I'm really not seeing where all this praise is coming from...

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Cue stripper music!

Ok bring in the Hoff!

Ok back to the Sand man. WoK is all I need as an example. First chapter, sweet scene, great action from some sort of awesome magic assassin. All good? Yes, except we have I giant info dump where I am given a play by play of how this magic system works. You got a thousand pages, dont interupt your great action scene with a class session.

Still enjoyed the book for the most part, and have some friends I would rec the book to.

Oh god that drove me nuts. And it wasn't just the first time, he did it over and over again in WOK. With the same character. Doing the same exact magic.

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The use of "storm" and "storming" in WoK, while not without reason, sounded very smurfy. It's hard to read something like the following and take it seriously: "Oh, storm you," the grizzled warrior growled.

I think that swearing in fantasy is so controversial for this very reason. Real swear words can often sound anachronistic and out of place in fantasy, but made-up swearing can sound even worse, as in the above example. I think there are two solutions to this. GRRM's take is to use real-life swear words but not in modern speech-patterns. "Fuck" gets used a lot but not "fuck you" for example. The other solution, which IMO is much harder, is to make up swearing that sounds relatively natural. This is very context dependent and relies on gelling well with the rest of the world that has been established. Jordan is someone who IMO has had some success with this. Exclamations of "Light!" seem to work fairly well and I can easily imagine people saying "Oh my god!" in the same context. YMMV, but I also thought "blood and ashes" worked well as a curse. It helps that it has a similar cadence to "fucking hell," which again would be used in a similar context.

However, simply replacing a real swear word with a fake one and otherwise using it in exactly the same way just doesn't work. The above-mentioned "storm" is one example. Battlestar Galactica's "frak" is another. I found it really hard to take "frak" seriously, especially when it was expanded into "frak me" and "motherfraker," probably because it was a just a straight word-swap.

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It is natural to swear and talk about sex but it's just as natural to ignore all of that stuff. In fact, tbh it seems more natural to ignore it because that's what the vast majority of media does all the time. Violence on the other hand, is normal in every aspect of life. That's why it doesn't bug me at all when writers work around sex or swearing or omit it altogether, that's how stories usually work. And the non-gritty fantasy books usually sell better too (Martin being a notable exception).

When fantasy characters start talking about the consistency of their shits or spend minutes picking dried skin from between their toes then i might get on Sanderson's back about a lack of realism.

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I think that swearing in fantasy is so controversial for this very reason. Real swear words can often sound anachronistic and out of place in fantasy, but made-up swearing can sound even worse, as in the above example

I do like the idea of having curse words come from a taboo that we readers don't necessarily share--that's a fundamental part of world-building I'd love to see more of.

But I whole-heartedly agree that it's a very fine line to walk. "Frak" and "storm" just sound silly. I agree that blood and ashes works as very well, though "By Crom" will probably always be my favorite.

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I like the way Erikson handled swearing in the early books, using the gods of the series but hooking them to familiar words so they're not just contextless silly names - Hood's balls, Fener's tusks etcs- but in the later books he started using modern swearwords anyway, which then felt out of context itself.

As for the sex and that, I've gotta agree with Shryke - it's not the lack of it there's a problem with, it's the obviousness of awkwardness within it. Now maybe Sanderson was aiming for the feeling that they themselves were feeling awkward- I mean certainly that's partly true- but it does come off rather like he himself thinks the scenes need to be there but he's not very comfortable with writing them. Compare to Eddings, whose novels have a similar feel in a romantic sense - lots of arch banter, very little sexual flirting and only one actual sex scene indicated to us from several rooms away by a blushing stone. But because the banter felt more natural, it wasn't as notable.

One of my favourite examples of 'fade to black' romance comes from Magician (spoilers for that just in case anyone hasn't read it)...

I got far more in a storytelling sense from Katala and Pug's 'silly, go close the door' than any amount of hardcore thrusting from Morgan, Abercrombie or Martin. No matter how much Martin's sex scenes may serve the character development.

Which made it all the more weird when Feist went completely the other way in Serpentwar.

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LLS, don't sweat this guy. If i remember correctly this is his MO. He'll troll for a while then jet. Just ride it out.

I'm not a troll at all. I've been on this site for years. Longer than allot of the new users that have ruined this site because of the series sudden popularity do to the HBO series. I have started some arguments but not many. I'm normally very polite, ask a question or two and get wonderful responses for 99% of the members here.

This topic brought out the worst in me and I am sorry. I'll tone it down. I was raised Mormon, I don't follow it at all but I really cant stand the bullshit, horrible stuff I see from some people about the religion or it's followers. I think that's where some of this distaste for Sanderson comes from and it bugs me. I can't argue for OS CARD, he's dug his own grave by being as vocal as he is so he sorta deserves the backlash he gets. Sanderson does not.

I guess one of the posters in this thread hates me cause I was raised Mormon... He must, technically I'm still Mormon even though I don't believe or practice the beliefs. He said it. I HATE ALL MORMONS, how small minded. If you don't agree then don't. A statement like that blows me away. Right now I'm the bad guy in this thread even though someone tossed out a statement like that. That's like saying you hate all black people because a few are in gangs.

I'll let this all die now but I had to bring up that statement. I've seen crap like this a bunch on this site and I don't know why it's allowed. If someone said they hate all #iggers the post would be deleted and they would probably be banned, the uproar would be huge.

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mod hat of no particular denomination:

Enough of the personal sniping, towards boarders and sundry authors alike.

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I guess one of the posters in this thread hates me cause I was raised Mormon... He must, technically I'm still Mormon even though I don't believe or practice the beliefs. He said it. I HATE ALL MORMONS, how small minded. If you don't agree then don't. A statement like that blows me away. Right now I'm the bad guy in this thread even though someone tossed out a statement like that. That's like saying you hate all black people because a few are in gangs.

I agree with you that this is an entirely unacceptable statement. And yet...and yet....I actually told my mother just this past week that I myself am a religious bigot, because I very intensely dislike the thought of a Mormon getting elected president. So I deserve the tarring and feathering as well.

You can't say I'm ignorant because I've never been exposed to the LDS faith -- I lived in Salt Lake City for five years. You can't say I've never known a Mormon -- I worked with them every day, and my neighbors were Mormon. You can't say that I single them out because they compete with my own religion -- I'm agnostic, and I don't feel this way about other religious systems. I would never say something like "I hate all Mormons" -- I didn't and I don't -- but I do understand some of the reasons why people have reservations about that religion in general.

But regardless of all that, Sanderson's religion has nothing to do with my problems with him as an author. I enjoy some things about his writing, I don't enjoy other things about it. I couldn't care less whether he includes sex or swearing in his books -- some of my favorite books of all time have neither one. I also don't care that Larry Correia (another Mormon author) has violence without sex in his books, and OSC was my favorite author for years (I don't really have a single favorite any more). I do think it's interesting that there seem to be so many Mormon fantasy authors, when the relative number of Mormons is so small compared to the size of the general population. I might theorize that it has something to do with the fantasy called The Book of Mormon, but that would just be catty of me. ;)

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He did a while ago, though he pretty much has stopped posting on all boards. You can be that his assistant Peter is reading this thread though.

Yup. Here I am.

By the way, our local circle of friends doesn't swear at all in real life, even when we drop a heavy object on our toes. Except for Howard Tayler—he's known to drop an F-bomb on occasion.

Brandon added "damn" and "bastard" to his books (which caused some Mormon readers to complain), but he doesn't even say those in real life.

And I liked Brandon's treatment of sex in Warbreaker. I can't fault him for how he treats sex in the Mistborn trilogy, seeing as he was a virgin until he got married (while writing Warbreaker). Maybe that's news to you, but he said it in the Warbreaker annotations posted on his site.

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Don't expect too much though, he's the McDonalds of the fantasy genre.

I find that offensive. He may not be downright amazing, but i'd even hesitate about calling Goodkind the 'McDonalds of the fantasy genre'.

Okay. Maybe not Goodkind. But still. Brandon Sanderson does at least have imagination.

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I find that offensive. He may not be downright amazing, but i'd even hesitate about calling Goodkind the 'McDonalds of the fantasy genre'.

Okay. Maybe not Goodkind. But still. Brandon Sanderson does at least have imagination.

Imagination does not stop someone from being a McDonalds writer. I'm still trying to find the exact recipe to the secret sauce they use.

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...

But regardless of all that, Sanderson's religion has nothing to do with my problems with him as an author. I enjoy some things about his writing, I don't enjoy other things about it. I couldn't care less whether he includes sex or swearing in his books -- some of my favorite books of all time have neither one. I also don't care that Larry Correia (another Mormon author) has violence without sex in his books, and OSC was my favorite author for years (I don't really have a single favorite any more). I do think it's interesting that there seem to be so many Mormon fantasy authors, when the relative number of Mormons is so small compared to the size of the general population. I might theorize that it has something to do with the fantasy called The Book of Mormon, but that would just be catty of me. ;)

It probably helps that they seem to network and cooperate a lot. For networking purposes it is easier to have something in common, and they'll have the religion and relatively close proximities. And I think they mostly went to the same University (Brigham Young) as well.

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Imagination does not stop someone from being a McDonalds writer. I'm still trying to find the exact recipe to the secret sauce they use.

Put some mayo out in the sun for awhile.

There, I saved you lots of time.

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Yup. Here I am.

By the way, our local circle of friends doesn't swear at all in real life, even when we drop a heavy object on our toes. Except for Howard Tayler—he's known to drop an F-bomb on occasion.

Brandon added "damn" and "bastard" to his books (which caused some Mormon readers to complain), but he doesn't even say those in real life.

And I liked Brandon's treatment of sex in Warbreaker. I can't fault him for how he treats sex in the Mistborn trilogy, seeing as he was a virgin until he got married (while writing Warbreaker). Maybe that's news to you, but he said it in the Warbreaker annotations posted on his site.

Thanks for jumping in, Peter. One of the things I really appreciate about Sanderson is that he seems to have no ego about his work and is really trying to get better each time out. I guess that's why I say he's a second tier guy who I like and want to read more of...I know he's going to give it his all every time. Given his sales and stardom, he doesn't have to, he could just coast on being "Brandon Sanderson" and telling us how great he is (**cough** Yeard **cough**).

All of this discussion makes me wonder what other boarders think about writers and "experience." There's the old axiom to "write what you know" and it certainly seems like it would be difficult to write about sex not having ever experienced it or to convincingly portray cultural specific profanity without being someone who curses...and yet Sanderson is more than capable of writing about allomantic magic and I'm fairly certain he's never Pushed an Inquisitor.

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I do think it's interesting that there seem to be so many Mormon fantasy authors, when the relative number of Mormons is so small compared to the size of the general population.

And why are Catholics so disproportionate for sci-fi (Gene Wolfe, Walter Miller, Jr., Michael Flynn, John C. Wright*, Tim Powers, R. A. Lafferty) as opposed to other religions?

*Yes, yes, I know...and no, no, I don't want to get into it. Just citing his name, OK? :)

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All of this discussion makes me wonder what other boarders think about writers and "experience." There's the old axiom to "write what you know" and it certainly seems like it would be difficult to write about sex not having ever experienced it or to convincingly portray cultural specific profanity without being someone who curses...and yet Sanderson is more than capable of writing about allomantic magic and I'm fairly certain he's never Pushed an Inquisitor.

Speaking of which, this is one of the things that greatly amuses me about Larry Correia's Monster Hunter books. The hero is a large-sized CPA who was rejected for military service because of flat feet and asthma, who is also a firearms expert. Larry Correia, in the meantime, is....a large-sized CPA who was rejected for military service because of flat feet and asthma, who is also a firearms expert. :D And since Correia is a firearms instructor, former gun shop owner, and competition shooter, you can trust that any gun details he provides are gonna be accurate. Not that I'm a gun nut (I don't own any, and don't plan to), but I do enjoy reading somebody who loves his subject. ;)

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And why are Catholics so disproportionate for sci-fi (Gene Wolfe, Walter Miller, Jr., Michael Flynn, John C. Wright*, Tim Powers, R. A. Lafferty) as opposed to other religions?

Are they, really? There's a ton of Catholics out there in the world, after all. Anybody done a comparative study? ;)

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I think Sanderson handled sensuality and sex better in Warbreaker than he usually does in his books. One sensual character is done well, and there's also a fairly well-done "fade-to-black" sex scene.

It didn't bother me that much in Way of Kings for some reason. Maybe it's because all the major characters were in situations where sex was very low on the priority list (below "trying to survive" for at least one of them).

EDIT: His assistant beat me to it. That's what I get for speed-reading a thread. :blushing:

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Yup. Here I am.

By the way, our local circle of friends doesn't swear at all in real life, even when we drop a heavy object on our toes. Except for Howard Tayler—he's known to drop an F-bomb on occasion.

Brandon added "damn" and "bastard" to his books (which caused some Mormon readers to complain), but he doesn't even say those in real life.

And I liked Brandon's treatment of sex in Warbreaker. I can't fault him for how he treats sex in the Mistborn trilogy, seeing as he was a virgin until he got married (while writing Warbreaker). Maybe that's news to you, but he said it in the Warbreaker annotations posted on his site.

You know, I;ve tried explaining to people before that you can go days without actually hearing the word fuck, but they didn't believe me.

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You know, I;ve tried explaining to people before that you can go days without actually hearing the word fuck, but they didn't believe me.

Definitely not true in my life. Then again, much of the time I'm the one saying it...

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