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Dagordur

Concept & Layout

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Now, I'm not sure if we're supposed to make suggestions about this as well, but anyway. Lord Varys suggested presenting the book as a compilation of odds and ends of different maester's writings. I love that idea, and as far as I've seen so far, all the information suggested could be wrapped that way.

As GRRM has said we should make our suggestions here, I'll do that.

First, I would make the whole book using pseudo-authors (reciting some Archmaesters' volumes, or so). So one could bring alternative opinions about some event in the past - remember Tyrion's and Oberyn's different opinions of Viserys II.

Some maps of the East could have been by Archmaester Marwyn - as he went in the East to do exactly that.

[Varys' original post was quite a bit longer than that, but since it was concerning suggestions not related to this one, I dropped that.]

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Could be done. For example, one of the maps of Westeros in the book could be a portrait of the Painted Table. A map of the east could be the map that Daenerys receives as a gift in Meereen.

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In point of fact, our current plan is to write it as one maester's Reader's Digest version of a recently-deceased master's inpractically massive life's work, a 'SUMMA OMNIA' (which I think would translate, to something like, 'A Complilation of All Things').

There will probably be quotations from works mentioned in the series, references to other works, and so on. Oh, and yes, references to scholarly disagreements. ;) One reason to do it this way is that information can then be wrong (i.e., it gives GRRM the chance to change his mind), since everything will be based on the imperfect knowledge of maesters rather than being written from some omniscent POV.

We're going to suggest that instead of doing regular sidebars for snippets of text, that we do them up like annotations, as if the young maester has personally added extra notes for the personage that he's presenting this particular copy of the book to (possibly one of Cersei's children). Not sure if it's possible from a layout perspective, but it'd be cool.

I should stress that this is the current plan. We haven't started on the first page yet, even (need to catch up on our sleep), but it may be that we'll find something better (f'r instance, might be that we can't sustain it through the whole book, and will have to try something simpler/easier).

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Then here is hoping that the current plan will be able to stay that way, because it sounds like a neat idea. Some lunatic somewhere (I forget who and where) actually had the audacity to suggest to me the format of "Westeros for Dummies". I was so stunned I couldn't respond in time to stop him from walking off.

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I'm not sure this is where it should be, but at the end of the book put a kind of glossary with the ways to say names, places, objects as this seems from the Convention reports, something of a sticker with GRRM (not that I need it, I seem to be bang on when I read the convention reports)

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Ran: sounds like a plan. I like the idea of sidebars-as-annotations, somehow that appeals to me (probably because my grandfather was an inveterate annotater, if that's a word).

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Guest Other-in-law

In the same vein as the idea of sample page(s) from the White Book, I'm remembering that book that Sam was reading at Castle Black with drawings of the faces in various weirwood trees. A page from that would be neat and wouldn't really require George to hash out nitpicky details (unlike my earlier idea of an example of a charter, which I now have to to admit would be kind of silly). Very minimal text would be required, maybe just labels for the drawings.

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Pale Griffin,

George isn't really interested in pronunciations -- he provides his pronunciations when people ask, but he tells people to say them how he wants (I've never seen him correct someone with an unusual pronunciation of a name, for example). :)

Other-in-law,

Interesting one. That might be possible.

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Further thought: if the concept of being a maester's Summa is adopted, which would be very cool, could the information be grouped or referenced by the way maester's divide their knowledge - that is, by the colour of the metals? So, for example, if you're discussing something to do with economics, it would be associated with gold: something to do with magic, valyrian steel.

I realise it might not be practical to divide the chapters this way, but maybe sidebars or such could be labelled like that.

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....

You know, I've just gotten this _brilliant_ idea. Maybe, just maybe, chapters could be divided up the metals of a maester's link..

(Thanks, Mormont. That one is definitely getting passed forward. :)

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....

You know, I've just gotten this _brilliant_ idea. Maybe, just maybe, chapters could be divided up the metals of a maester's link..

(Thanks, Mormont. That one is definitely getting passed forward. :)

That is an awesome idea. Going further with the scholarly maester approach, perhaps the front and back covers and spine of the volume should look something like an old, beaten, leatherbound Tome with some sort of insignia of Oldtown or of the Citadel...or even of Westeros. Something that doesn't scream glossy artwork on the front. To get an idea of this, just look at any of the LOTR expanded edition movie covers.

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That is an awesome idea. Going further with the scholarly maester approach, perhaps the front and back covers and spine of the volume should look something like an old, beaten, leatherbound Tome with some sort of insignia of Oldtown or of the Citadel...or even of Westeros. Something that doesn't scream glossy artwork on the front. To get an idea of this, just look at any of the LOTR expanded edition movie covers.

Or the recent covers for D&D books.

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I wouldn't expect this book to go without a dustjacket, if that's what the recent D20 books are like. :)

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Somewhere I saw it mentioned that the book would be broken up by region for parts of it. I think it would be awesome if for each region there was an upclose map to start the section off. It would have a bit more detail than the main map we are all used to.

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We've been suggesting that. We'll see what's possible eventually. I suspect there'll be some very definite plans set regarding the book's shape and content by the end of October.

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Somewhere I saw it mentioned that the book would be broken up by region for parts of it. I think it would be awesome if for each region there was an upclose map to start the section off. It would have a bit more detail than the main map we are all used to.

If they do go that way (which I would like) I would hope they would have a section for all of the lesser houses from that region, maybe even including a brief family history, or family tree if available. If a map cannot be provided for their stronghold, written directions as to it's whereabouts/any special features of the stonghold would be appreciated (and would seem to fit into the written by a maester idea).

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All the lesser houses would mean having to give space to well over 300 houses. ;) That's not going to happen.

There may be details about a number of prominent houses in each region, but we're not going to cover them all, certainly.

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Also, it would be nice if the artwork fit the theme. If this is a "scholarly" book, more black & whte pencil art (like DaVinci's schematics) and less typical fantasy art like the artbook. I love the artbook. There can always be another artbook. But the art should fit the conceit.

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Well, there's going to be full color art and paintings and things. It's kind of expected, and when you've a decent art budget, you want to make the most of it. ;)

That said, it's funny you mention Da Vinci's sketches, because we referenced them a couple of weeks ago in discussions regarding art in the book ... ;)

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