Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
SeanBeanedMeUp

Was Splitting The Fourth Book Into AFFC and ADWD Inevitable

Recommended Posts

This is something that has plagued me for quite a while. For me a part of me feels that there could’ve been a way to keep both books from being split up. The reason I get obsessed with this is because of how the decision to split the books somewhat derailed the series and took GRRM a lot more time to finish the series than expected. Could the books have been bigger in length and width so more words could fit in the bigger pages? Or was the split going to happen no matter what?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It probably wasn't. I read an electronic version of Feast/Dance that had all the chapters presented chronologically. It was wonky in places sure, but read more smoothly as one single story, if extremely slow paced. 

I really think the problem with the last two books is they seem to lack an over all direction and just seem to be all over the place. The first three seemed to know what they were doing, and where things were going. 

If we somehow ever get Winds, I expect there's going to be a lot of dangling plot threads all over the place as the last two books plot lines are consolidated into a single novel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, SeanBeanedMeUp said:

I know I’m just thinking about this.

Okay, well.  I suspect it would still be possible to edit Feast/Dance into a single volume, and perhaps improve it.  I would not dare do this myself of course, because only GRRM knows where his story is going and what clues are or are not essential.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mister Smikes said:

Okay, well.  I suspect it would still be possible to edit Feast/Dance into a single volume, and perhaps improve it.  I would not dare do this myself of course, because only GRRM knows where his story is going and what clues are or are not essential.

Honestly the fact that it had to be split into two is why the series is taking longer to finish and that frustrates me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, SeanBeanedMeUp said:

This is something that has plagued me for quite a while. For me a part of me feels that there could’ve been a way to keep both books from being split up. The reason I get obsessed with this is because of how the decision to split the books somewhat derailed the series and took GRRM a lot more time to finish the series than expected. Could the books have been bigger in length and width so more words could fit in the bigger pages? Or was the split going to happen no matter what?

GRRM decided there should be two books 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, SeanBeanedMeUp said:

Honestly the fact that it had to be split into two is why the series is taking longer to finish and that frustrates me.

At some point he bit off more than he could chew.  But I think those steps in the creative process were underway before his decision to split the books in two.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I mean we were getting a book, and then a time skip and a book either way right? Couldn't just leave it after storm, had too many things to set up/wrap up. It was always going to be split into two, question is order of release and if they came out together; they physically are too big for one, Dance is longer than swords is right? At best it gets split into two like the British version of the books.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Mister Smikes said:

Okay, well.  I suspect it would still be possible to edit Feast/Dance into a single volume, and perhaps improve it.  I would not dare do this myself of course, because only GRRM knows where his story is going and what clues are or are not essential.

It seems like a good idea... I did one of the combined readthroughs a little while ago. I would have been absolutely lost if I hadn't previously read the books a few times. The busy POV's rotate at about every 10 chapters or so and the sparse ones might stick their head out once in 15 to 20 chapters.  it wouldn't have been a good way to go to market.  if they weren't split, they would have to have been substantially pared down.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/13/2021 at 6:03 PM, Universal Sword Donor said:

GRRM decided there should be two books 

Yeah I'm just asking whether or not there was another way instead.

On 6/13/2021 at 7:25 PM, Mister Smikes said:

At some point he bit off more than he could chew.  But I think those steps in the creative process were underway before his decision to split the books in two.

When I looked at the size of the books ( I have the small ones), I think about how making the pages bigger would allow more words and potentially allow both books to be in one.

On 6/14/2021 at 1:21 AM, Leonardo said:

Yeah I mean we were getting a book, and then a time skip and a book either way right? Couldn't just leave it after storm, had too many things to set up/wrap up. It was always going to be split into two, question is order of release and if they came out together; they physically are too big for one, Dance is longer than swords is right? At best it gets split into two like the British version of the books.

I knew there were many problems. I'm just wondering what could've been done better.

On 6/14/2021 at 10:30 AM, Aejohn the Conqueroo said:

It seems like a good idea... I did one of the combined readthroughs a little while ago. I would have been absolutely lost if I hadn't previously read the books a few times. The busy POV's rotate at about every 10 chapters or so and the sparse ones might stick their head out once in 15 to 20 chapters.  it wouldn't have been a good way to go to market.  if they weren't split, they would have to have been substantially pared down.  

I would've been ok with it, but maybe that's just me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, SeanBeanedMeUp said:

When I looked at the size of the books ( I have the small ones), I think about how making the pages bigger would allow more words and potentially allow both books to be in one.

It is certainly physically possible to make a very big book -- even one large enough to contain both FEAST and DANCE.  But I have no basis for questioning the reported wisdom of publishers (per GRRM) that STORM and DANCE approach or cross the limit of what is considered commercially feasible or commercially wise for this type of fiction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Mister Smikes said:

It is certainly physically possible to make a very big book -- even one large enough to contain both FEAST and DANCE.  But I have no basis for questioning the reported wisdom of publishers (per GRRM) that STORM and DANCE approach or cross the limit of what is considered commercially feasible or commercially wise for this type of fiction.

I mean large books have been made before. Also not to mention I think fans would've wanted a complete story not one split by geography.

 

I do hope both publishers and GRRM learned from their past mistake. I'd hate to see Winds of Winter being split by geography.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, SeanBeanedMeUp said:

I mean large books have been made before.

Sure.  You can buy, for instance, a single-volume, unabridged Penguin Classics edition of CLARISSA by Samuel Richardson, which I believe is significantly longer than FEAST and DANCE combined. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Mister Smikes said:

Sure.  You can buy, for instance, a single-volume, unabridged Penguin Classics edition of CLARISSA by Samuel Richardson, which I believe is significantly longer than FEAST and DANCE combined. 

Hence why I don't see a problem with combining Feast & Dance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, SeanBeanedMeUp said:

Hence why I don't see a problem with combining Feast & Dance.

If you owned a copy I suspect you might begin to realize why people find such items unwieldy and inconvenient.  It was originally published in multiple volumes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Mister Smikes said:

If you owned a copy I suspect you might begin to realize why people find such items unwieldy and inconvenient.  It was originally published in multiple volumes.

I didn't find a problem? I do own some large books.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, SeanBeanedMeUp said:

I didn't find a problem? I do own some large books.

If it is fine for you, it is fine for you.  But it could be a problem for others, and if it affects too many people, it could interfere with its commercial viability.  Small print and long text lines, and a doorstop of a volume that you can't easily hold at a convenient distance from your face make it hard for many people.

Most of my large books are reference books, that I don't actually sit down and read for entertainment.

I own a single volume edition of Galland's ARABIAN NIGHTS ENTERTAINMENTS (Grub Street Translation, originally in 12 volumes), and a single volume edition of the (not-quite complete) COMPLETE FICTION of H.P. Lovecraft.  Both appear to be well over 500,000 words in length, but unless I miscalculated neither come close to 700,000 words in length, which would be the combined lengths of FEAST and DANCE.  I've read both completely, but not in these copies, which I instead use for reference.  I find other copies, or online texts, more convenient for reading.

Of course, there is THE BIBLE, whose King James text comes in at something over 780,000 words.   This is often accomplished using double columns and very thin pages.

Edited by Mister Smikes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Mister Smikes said:

If it is fine for you, it is fine for you.  But it could be a problem for others, and if it affects too many people, it could interfere with its commercial viability.  Small print and long text lines, and a doorstop of a volume that you can't easily hold at a convenient distance from your face make it hard for many people.

Most of my large books are reference books, that I don't actually sit down and read for entertainment.

I own a single volume edition of Galland's ARABIAN NIGHTS ENTERTAINMENTS (Grub Street Translation, originally in 12 volumes), and a single volume edition of the (not-quite complete) COMPLETE FICTION of H.P. Lovecraft.  Both appear to be well over 500,000 words in length, but unless I miscalculated neither come close to 700,000 words in length, which would be the combined lengths of FEAST and DANCE.  I've read both completely, but not in these copies, which I instead use for reference.  I find other copies, or online texts, more convenient for reading.

Of course, there is THE BIBLE, whose King James text comes in at something over 780,000 words.   This is often accomplished using double columns and very thin pages.

I mean they don't have to be that huge to stuff both Feast and Dance. The small Harry Potter books for example (I loathe to bring up Harry Potter ever since Rowling revealed her transphobia) are bigger than the small ASOIAF books.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always thought that splitting Feast and Dance was a huge mistake.

Feast as a book is burdened by the absence of planning. It was supposed to start after a five-year gap that was scrapped because of some developments that George felt that couldn't wait. It was supposed to start with a pair of triple-POV prologues grew longer than expected and were ultimately distributed along the book. Brienne wasn't supposed to be a POV, but suddenly her story "needed to be told".  And then, the book became too big to publish in a single volume...

As I see it, the solution should have been to cut material. The story that is told in Feast is mostly an interlude that deals mostly with the fallout of the previous book and relocates the pieces in the board in preparation for the second big wave of conflicts (Dany's invasion+the coming of the Others). George is such a great author that he is able to make a great book out of it, but many of the chapters, while wonderfully written, aren't needed.

I think the clearest example is Arya's chapter "Mercy". George wrote this chapter thinking that it would be Arya's next chapter after ASOS. You could certainly read Mercy without having read Arya's five chapters from Feast and Dance, and you wouldn't miss anything. Which, IMHO, means that those five chapters were not needed.

The whole problem emanates from the famous Gardener vs. Architect approaches to writing that George explains. I think that the Gardener approach can only work if you do not have time pressure. When you are a gardener, you need to have the patience to prune the branches that are not growing well, and to cut off the plants that are not as nice as you thought they'd be when you planted the seed.

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...