Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Amris

Rewriting Storm of Swords

Recommended Posts

Over the last 10 years I couldn't help to now and again think about why our author finds it harder and harder to write the books in the series.

We all know that the gaps between books are getting longer. Not somewhat longer. Not even linearly longer. Exponentially longer: 2-3 years for the first 3 books. 5 years for book 4. 6 years for book 5. 10 years and counting for the next installment.

We also know that GRRM would like to have the next book finished long since. And we can bet that he's been working hard on it. So the issue is not lack of trying or lack of will on his part.

We all know the above and I admit it has been discussed many times. By putting it up there I just wanted to set the stage for what I am about to suggest:

I know it is not really practical since books 3-5 have long been out there and printed. Nevertheless: the issue which makes it ever harder to continue the story is that book 3 went off the rails. Fixing the story would need fixing book 3 first. I am very sure writing the other books would be a lot easier then.

And no - I do not hate book 3. Storm of Swords has great parts. Some of the best fantasy I have ever read. It also has serious issues though. That is the problem.

Book 3 is where the number of secondary plots and secondary and tertiary characters got out of hand. Book 3 is where the foundation that would have been needed to implement the 5 year gap wasn't set.

The issues with books 4 and 5 have their roots there. And I can pretty safely guess that the struggle with book 6 has its roots there too. 3 should be fixed to have 4-7 go more smoothly.

Not practical I know, sorry. But still.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the loss of the 5 year gap was definitely a loss that led to the jumble of the last two books and complications in this one. The Mereenese knot could've been untangled off screen and in flashback for the most part and aging the children into young adults would've been appropriate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd start with ACoK.

For example, instead of going east at the end of this book, Dany should move westwards towards Pentos and/or Volantis. Imagine the amount of trouble this would have saved.

Another one is Stannis. Instead of sending him to the Wall in ASoS, just let him burn Shireen at Dragonstone after the defeat at Blackwater. That would have wrapped him up there and then.

No Dorne.

No ironborn.

No fAegon.

The Others break the Wall at the end of ASoS. Jon evacuates the north and brings the survivors to Riverlands. The Dance of Dragons takes place between Jon and Dany at the end of the fourth book and continues into the fifth.

 

Edited by Mithras

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While the first three books could benefit from some revisions, I think that it's only at AFFC that the series started going out of hand. This is the book where there's a major shift in terms of focus and pace, and there are multiple chapters devoted to side stories that do not move the central plot forward.

7 hours ago, Amris said:

Book 3 is where the number of secondary plots and secondary and tertiary characters got out of hand.

I don't see the number of secondary plots or characters as problematic by themselves. They flesh out the story, and add help to build a greater scope. It's only a problem is when you delve too much time on them.

For instance, in ASOS we first hear of the Defiance of Duskendale. And it's fine, because it's just an offhand reference that doesn't take more than a couple of lines. However, in AFFC, there's half a chapter devoted to describing the conflict, in a history lesson that doesn't relate to the plot and that would have fitted much better in the World Book.

Or in ACOK, when Davos is introduced as a POV, he gets only 3 chapters. As it should be, because he is not a central character (and neither is Stannis). But in Feast Brienne receives 8 chapters.

7 hours ago, Amris said:

Book 3 is where the foundation that would have been needed to implement the 5 year gap wasn't set.

I still think that the five year gap was a good idea, and that Martin's first instinct was the right one. If a five year gap was too ambitious (Martin claimed that for some storylines it wouldn't made sense that nothing happened for 5 years), at least a "few months gap" would have made much sense. We didn't need to spend the first dozen of chapters of a book with the direct aftermath to the events in ASOS. The book would work much better if Doran had already imprisoned the Sand Drake, the kingsmoot had been already summoned, Tywin is already buried, etc.

And in this fourth book, the characters where the gap did work (Sansa, Arya, Bran) should not appear. The available sample chapters for TWOW of both Arya and Sansa were originally intended to be the continuation of their stories after ASOS, and are both are excellent chapters. The chapters we got in Feast... not so much. They are wonderfully written, but they are only showing how the girls are trained, and they feel like filler.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

But in Feast Brienne receives 8 chapters.

The main plot wouldn't lose anything if we remove all those Brienne chapters. Just have her appear in that particular Jaime chapter with facial scars just the same and in the next one, give her a couple of paragraphs to explain what happened to her. If GRRM was so in love with what he'd written for Brienne, he should have released it as a separate novella. GRRM didn't have to do the split if he cut the filler like this. In fact, the series would have been finished by now. But no, GRRM loves his loooong chapters where nothing happens.

Edited by Mithras

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At times I have wished for a shorter or simpler story. Making it easier to follow the central plot. Also reducing the enormity for the author to write. 
     Then I think of that philosophical question. If a ship has pieces slowly replaced. Starting with the smallest of nails and boards until the entirety has had a new part. Would the ship still be the same craft? If not then at what point? 
     After reading ASOS I was hungry for more. AFFC certainly did not satiate that hunger left by ASOS. I loved the introduction of the Dornish. Dick Crab was an immediate favorite for me. I have yet to turn a critical eye towards him. I fear my view would change, thus losing him. 
     When writing a book where each sentence can tell 3-6 stories, it’s understandable it would take 3-6 times as long to write. Consider Martins statement of 1 in a 1000 readers who see all that is written. I’m certain that’s not a biased boast. 
     I’ve never reread a series of books shortly after reading them to see another story. I continue to find more. As much as I want to read a complete and definitive synopsis by GRRM, I can wait.

Edited by Fool Stands On Giant’s Toe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...