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Stormlight Archives 4: Rhythm of War

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On 1/8/2020 at 9:46 AM, Ninefingers said:

It's like young Sanderson dreamed of putting together 10 giant books, and he's going to do it dammit. 

But do these books NEED to be so big?

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5 minutes ago, IlyaP said:

But do these books NEED to be so big?

No.  And he even originally said that the first one would be the longest one and the rest would be shorter.

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2 minutes ago, Rhom said:

No.  And he even originally said that the first one would be the longest one and the rest would be shorter.

Sigh.

Guess I'll stick to the eBooks with his series then. (It's just not personally comfortable reading wrist-shatteringly heavy and huge novels.)

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2 hours ago, Rhom said:

No.  And he even originally said that the first one would be the longest one and the rest would be shorter.

The first one is the most concisely and best written.

Edited by Gaston de Foix

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16 hours ago, IlyaP said:

But do these books NEED to be so big?

Not even close. They feel very padded out to me. 

Sanderson has a lot of great qualities, but I think characterization is where he's weakest. It's as if he tries to make up for it by spilling reams of paper on secondary character backstories. 

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6 hours ago, Ninefingers said:

Not even close. They feel very padded out to me. 

Where's his editor(s)?

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15 hours ago, IlyaP said:

Where's his editor(s)?

Feels a bit like Peter Jackson becoming big, and no-one wants to (or can) tell him that the films he's making are bloated beyond belief. 

'cause that may hurt his feelings, and he'd not make as much money, or he'd jump ship, or somesuch.

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Agree with Rorshach. 

Many content creators are too big to edit, and many of them use that power. For some it's bloat, for some it's interminable delays. And because they're extremely wealthy and have a monopoly on the creation of the content, no one has any leverage to compel them to behave differently. 

(My go-to example in film tends not to be Peter Jackson, but Quentin Tarantino. There was a good 2 hour movie somewhere in Kill Bill, but instead we got 4 hours of self indulgent masturbation.)

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19 minutes ago, Ninefingers said:

Agree with Rorshach. 

Many content creators are too big to edit, and many of them use that power. For some it's bloat, for some it's interminable delays. And because they're extremely wealthy and have a monopoly on the creation of the content, no one has any leverage to compel them to behave differently. 

(My go-to example in film tends not to be Peter Jackson, but Quentin Tarantino. There was a good 2 hour movie somewhere in Kill Bill, but instead we got 4 hours of self indulgent masturbation.)

Pre-publication editing is difficult.  But post-publication editing (particularly for tv and film) may be the solution.  Look at the release (or not) of Zach Snyder's cut of the Warner franchise crossover movie.  And a 2 hour version of Kill Bill sounds like an interesting project. 

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7 hours ago, Ninefingers said:

Many content creators are too big to edit, and many of them use that power. For some it's bloat, for some it's interminable delays. And because they're extremely wealthy and have a monopoly on the creation of the content, no one has any leverage to compel them to behave differently. 

I am reminded of the time my best friend and I decided we were going to edit the first 2 books of The Wheel of Time as teenagers. There were - and still are, upon reread the million and one times I've lovingly read it - segments, pages, and even whole chapters I would cut to reduce the page-count and proxy time-commitment. (To all you speed-readers out there, I salute and high-five you, as I am a dreadfully slow reader.)

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Editing has to be such a shitty job. If you do it well no one notices if you do it bad, well...

I don wonder sometimes (mini rant) who the fuck looked at the manuscript for Jay Kristoffs first novel and went yeah calling people Sama is totally OK and not cultural appropriation turned up to 11 and then done poorly.

ahem

 

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21 hours ago, Rorshach said:

Feels a bit like Peter Jackson becoming big, and no-one wants to (or can) tell him that the films he's making are bloated beyond belief. 

'cause that may hurt his feelings, and he'd not make as much money, or he'd jump ship, or somesuch.

To be fair to Jackson, the Hobbit shitstorm was more down to MGM's executive meddling and Warner Brothers blackmailing him and the government of New Zealand into accepting unfair working practices (including changing the law), so he ended up making the films in a very hostile environment and having to pad them out beyond belief. When Del Toro was working on the project they came up with a scheme to give the studios 3 movies but only devoting 2 much shorter films to The Hobbit (and a further disposable interquel movie) and that got shot down (probably the real reason Del Toro walked).

I do think bloat was a problem on King Kong, which was overlong, but not so much his other stand-alones. And of course you can still make a film that's bloated and overlong but still fundamentally good, like Return of the King or most of Christopher Nolan's output (with the highly honourable exception of Dunkirk).

Edited by Werthead

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8 minutes ago, Werthead said:

To be fair to Jackson, the Hobbit shitstorm was more down to MGM's executive meddling and Warner Brothers blackmailing him and the government of New Zealand into accepting unfair working practices (including changing the law), so he ended up making the films in a very hostile environment and having to pad them out beyond belief. When Del Toro was working on the project they came up with a scheme to give the studios 3 movies but only devoting 2 much shorter films to The Hobbit (and a further disposable interquel movie) and that got shot down (probably the real reason Del Toro walked).

I do think bloat was a problem on King Kong, which was overlong, but not so much his other stand-alones. And of course you can still make a film that's bloated and overlong but still fundamentally good, like Return of the King or most of Christopher Nolan's output (with the highly honourable exception of Dunkirk).

Quite possible. 

I haven't followed his career closely (or anyone else's) in years, so I checked IMDB. He hasn't really directed many movies outside of King Kong and The Hobbit, though, after his breakthrough with Lord of the Rings. Unless I'm missing some important part here.

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9 minutes ago, Rorshach said:

Quite possible. 

I haven't followed his career closely (or anyone else's) in years, so I checked IMDB. He hasn't really directed many movies outside of King Kong and The Hobbit, though, after his breakthrough with Lord of the Rings. Unless I'm missing some important part here.

The Lovely Bones is the only other film he's directed, I believe. He was also a producer/second director (along with Spielberg) on the first Tintin movie, which is supposed to be getting sequels at some point. He also did some second unit shooting on Mortal Engines, I believe.

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13 minutes ago, Werthead said:

The Lovely Bones is the only other film he's directed, I believe. He was also a producer/second director (along with Spielberg) on the first Tintin movie, which is supposed to be getting sequels at some point. He also did some second unit shooting on Mortal Engines, I believe.

I may have to nick Ninefinger's go-to-example, then  :)

 

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On 2/9/2020 at 9:37 PM, Gaston de Foix said:

The first one is the most concisely and best written.

I would say that the third one was structured and not bloated. Big, though. I would not say all of that about the second (either it had the structure he wanted and was heavy on the flab, or he had gotten it down to just what he thought had to be in it but it wasn't firmly organized).

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2 hours ago, illrede said:

I would say that the third one was structured and not bloated. Big, though. I would not say all of that about the second (either it had the structure he wanted and was heavy on the flab, or he had gotten it down to just what he thought had to be in it but it wasn't firmly organized).

I read the first one twice.  Once when it came out and then once before Words of Radiance... (damn, I was about to abbreviate that WoR and then realized the new title is RoW.  That's gonna get confusing!)  I've not even considered a second read on book 2 or 3 because the thought is so exhausting!  Honestly, I just have no idea where he's going with things.  It seemed like the guy who he was setting up to be the Big Bad turned out to be a mini boss of some sort.  It may be an odd thing to complain about in a series that we are saying is too bloated... but it seems like he wrapped up the conflict "too soon" by having Dalinar come out on top in that book.

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I find it hard to stop reading a series after devoting the time it took to get through the first 3 books. While book 3 was nowhere near book 1 or 2, especially 1, Sanderson knows how to bring things to an end.

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3 hours ago, Chad Vader said:

I find it hard to stop reading a series after devoting the time it took to get through the first 3 books. While book 3 was nowhere near book 1 or 2, especially 1, Sanderson knows how to bring things to an end.

He does write big climaxes well.  The epic moments are through the roof for him and he provides a good visual.  

And therein lies the problem with the rest of the book, you now have to slog through 3-400 pages of unnecessary filler to get to it. 

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