Game of the Thrones, the books..

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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:13 pm
  • pehawk wrote:I'm disappointed reading this thread. Game of Thrones was literally (or figuratively) next on my "read then watch" list. I have a very hard time with any fiction as it is, so, I kind of need it to be stellar.

    I'll be monitoring this situation closely.


    It is stellar. I think a lot of people are just going in with such high expectations that it's impossible to live up to them. If you can avoid that and can get into this type of a story then I think you'll love them.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:14 pm
  • m0ng0 wrote:I am trying the audiobook version of the newest one and its not working for me......I just cannot pay enough attention while driving and the old guy doing the womens voices bugs me. I will wait for it to come out on paperback I suppose


    Audiobook? I don't think there's a book in existence that could keep my attention being read to me. I need to see the words.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:15 pm
  • Great books. Was never once bored. Never noticed any "bad writing". Amazing story.

    Don't analyze. Enjoy.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:17 pm
  • Zebulon Dak wrote:
    m0ng0 wrote:I am trying the audiobook version of the newest one and its not working for me......I just cannot pay enough attention while driving and the old guy doing the womens voices bugs me. I will wait for it to come out on paperback I suppose


    Audiobook? I don't think there's a book in existence that could keep my attention being read to me. I need to see the words.



    yeah ya gotta love the wife and good intentions ripping stuff from the library and she went to the trouble of burning all 20 or so discs :D
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:19 pm
  • It sounds on par with a graphic novel; i.e. you can let yourself drift a bit when reading it? If that's the case, cool. Great for days like today; read while half paying attention to sports on TV.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:26 pm
  • pehawk wrote:It sounds on par with a graphic novel; i.e. you can let yourself drift a bit when reading it? If that's the case, cool. Great for days like today; read while half paying attention to sports on TV.


    I dunno. Maybe. For me it was a series I didn't want to put down and could lose myself in it. And I didn't want it to end. I tried to read other books in between so I could drag the series out as long as possible, but I just couldn't do it. I smashed through faster than any other 5 books I've read.

    Also, anybody who thinks he's long winded or uses too many words is probably not much of a fantasy fan because as those go he's not even close to the worst offender I've run across.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:31 pm
  • Aight, I'm gonna download it. It'll start it on the nightstand rotation, if it drifts, it moves to coffee table land.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:18 pm
  • Zebulon Dak wrote:Also, anybody who thinks he's long winded or uses too many words is probably not much of a fantasy fan because as those go he's not even close to the worst offender I've run across.


    That's a sore point with me. Science fiction and fantasy are known for running longer than average because of the world building involved with the genres. There simply needs to be a bit extra to explain the fantastical worlds portrayed in those genres to allow the story to develop in the remaining allotment of words. Novels (very generally) run 70,000 to 90,000 words. Science fiction and fantasy typically run 80,000 to 120,000 words, and in some cases quite a bit longer. And while folks like Stephen King and GRRM himself tend to run toward the long-winded side of things, there's a limit on it. There's a boundary where long-winded becomes too damn long. And that's where the reader loses interest, no matter the accolades of the writer.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:43 pm
  • So how does GoT compaire to the WoT. Please only those who have read both, reply.

    Side story, I went through the first 4 books of the WoT in 4 days while living in Hong Kong, no joke. Loved the story and all, hence my long time screen name.

    I have only ever watchd the TV show of GoT. That being said, if its as good, or better then I will for sure pick up the books.

    Also I got bored with the WoT while reading Winters Heart, but I hear it gets better from there on.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:02 pm
  • I've read both. I read books 1-9 of WoT and needed something else to read while I waited for book 10 to come out. I read online that if you like WoT, you'll love ASOIAF...well, truer words were never spoken, as far as I am concerned.
    A lot of Wheel of Time was boring and some of the writing was eye-rollingly bad, but there were some great concepts in there.
    Ice and Fire is quite different. Much less fantastical, in that there are no wandering wizards shooting fireballs and the like. Magic exists, to an extent, but it is not overt. The vast majority of the populace lives their whole life without seeing or even believing in any sort of magic, beyond religion.
    Anyway, I could go on for days about the Martin books, but I won't. I will simply say that if you like the show, I can't imagine you not liking the books far far more.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:10 pm
  • Ice & Fire is >>>>>>> than WoT. I honestly think Robert Jordan was a better writer than GRRM. His words were more poetic. He tended to be pretty long winded, but his words were just fun to read. But as far as content, storytelling, character building, Ice & Fire is by far the better tale. Everything else LargentFan said is pretty spot on.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:59 am
  • pehawk wrote:Aight, I'm gonna download it. It'll start it on the nightstand rotation, if it drifts, it moves to coffee table land.


    Pe, it's a good read, don't take my complaint as dislike. The lack of moral compass in almost all the characters is interesting, it's just that the author's style is a cross between Quentin Tarantino and Charles Dickens.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:18 pm
  • I have a cross of Tarintino and Dickens in my pants.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:12 pm
  • Seahawk Sailor wrote:And while folks like Stephen King and GRRM himself tend to run toward the long-winded side of things, there's a limit on it. There's a boundary where long-winded becomes too damn long.


    Can't say I've ever noticed that limit in anything from King except Lisey's Story and The Tommyknockers, but King freely admitted he was coked out of his gourd and drunk to boot while writing The Tommyknockers, so it's like, whatever. Martin, however, waited WAY too long before progressing with the first Game of Thrones book, IMO. I'm not trying to avoid blaming King, or anything; doesn't matter if a writer's all jacked up on something or not, if he puts out a steaming pile of something, it's a steaming pile regardless. I may have to give Game of Thrones a try again, but it remains the only book I've ever started that I didn't finish.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:24 pm
  • RolandDeschain wrote:
    Seahawk Sailor wrote:And while folks like Stephen King and GRRM himself tend to run toward the long-winded side of things, there's a limit on it. There's a boundary where long-winded becomes too damn long.


    Can't say I've ever noticed that limit in anything from King except Lisey's Story and The Tommyknockers, but King freely admitted he was coked out of his gourd and drunk to boot while writing The Tommyknockers, so it's like, whatever. Martin, however, waited WAY too long before progressing with the first Game of Thrones book, IMO. I'm not trying to avoid blaming King, or anything; doesn't matter if a writer's all jacked up on something or not, if he puts out a steaming pile of something, it's a steaming pile regardless. I may have to give Game of Thrones a try again, but it remains the only book I've ever started that I didn't finish.


    The one book you didn't finish is one of the best books I've ever read. Give it another chance.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:00 am
  • Zebulon Dak wrote:Ice & Fire is >>>>>>> than WoT. I honestly think Robert Jordan was a better writer than GRRM. His words were more poetic. He tended to be pretty long winded, but his words were just fun to read. But as far as content, storytelling, character building, Ice & Fire is by far the better tale. Everything else LargentFan said is pretty spot on.


    Well shit. You keep popping holes in my ambitions to read GRRM. I've seen Robert Jordan criticized plenty for cardboard characters (especially his female charaters), and taking way, way to long at saying what he could have said far more succinctly. And I've heard the last book (written after his death) improved the series tremendously.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:42 am
  • Seahawk Sailor wrote:
    Zebulon Dak wrote:Ice & Fire is >>>>>>> than WoT. I honestly think Robert Jordan was a better writer than GRRM. His words were more poetic. He tended to be pretty long winded, but his words were just fun to read. But as far as content, storytelling, character building, Ice & Fire is by far the better tale. Everything else LargentFan said is pretty spot on.


    Well shit. You keep popping holes in my ambitions to read GRRM. I've seen Robert Jordan criticized plenty for cardboard characters (especially his female charaters), and taking way, way to long at saying what he could have said far more succinctly. And I've heard the last book (written after his death) improved the series tremendously.


    ???

    Zebulon Dak wrote:Ice & Fire is >>>>>>> than WoT ... as far as content, storytelling, character building, Ice & Fire is by far the better tale.


    There's reasons I stopped reading WoT after book 5 and there's reasons I'd use a cryogenic sleeper until the next Ice & Fire book if it wasn't for the Seahawks.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:52 am
  • Zebulon Dak wrote:???


    The reason is because you said Jordan was much better than GRRM, and I've heard Jordan's stuff criticized for exactly what I don't like in literature. Ergo, GRRM may be worse than what I already don't like.

    I sound like a lit snob here, which isn't my intention at all. Just would rather find a story I can't put down, and haven't found that in a while.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:15 am
  • A song of ice and fire is my favorite series. I'm reading it right now for the second time, in the third book. I've not noticed those errors, but maybe its because english is not my first language (and I prefer reading it in english than in the spanish version).

    I''ve never read a book in that POV style, and I found it very entertaining. Each main character has his/her personality well defined, and I've found myself caring for my favorite ones, like Tyrion, Davos, Dany and some others.

    The first and second books are the "weakest" in the opinion of the majority of the fans, compared to the rest. The third one (A storm of swords) is the best one.

    And is precisely the twists in the story that keep me hooked, there's a lot of "what the hell" moments that I love. And in this second time I find telling myself "Oohhhh that's why that happened ..."


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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:45 am
  • Seahawk Sailor wrote:
    Zebulon Dak wrote:???


    The reason is because you said Jordan was much better than GRRM, and I've heard Jordan's stuff criticized for exactly what I don't like in literature. Ergo, GRRM may be worse than what I already don't like.

    I sound like a lit snob here, which isn't my intention at all. Just would rather find a story I can't put down, and haven't found that in a while.


    I didn't say much better, just better. I think he was better with words, in the poetic sense. But he was very long winded and GRRM is not. GRRM built better characters & told a far more believable, gripping story.

    I think this series has been talked up so much that, like a lot of people, you're looking for reasons to not like it, and if you go into it with that mindset then you're probably going to find reasons not to like it. If you can put all the expectations aside I'd be willing to bet you'll enjoy it quite a bit.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:01 am
  • I always look for reasons to like something, rather than reasons not to like something. And I'll have to check out both series. They have been on my list. I just get skeptical too quickly, I suppose.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:13 pm
  • Zebulon Dak wrote:Ice & Fire is >>>>>>> than WoT. I honestly think Robert Jordan was a better writer than GRRM. His words were more poetic. He tended to be pretty long winded, but his words were just fun to read. But as far as content, storytelling, character building, Ice & Fire is by far the better tale. Everything else LargentFan said is pretty spot on.


    Agree with this entirely. Jordan was technically a better writer. Martin's a better storyteller, and his story is far better than WoT.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:09 pm
  • I guess I don't really understand what makes someone a better writer.
    Martin's story is better, his characters are better, he tells the story more concisely, his story is deeper and more realistic. His world is more authentic. There are tons of important and interesting subplots.
    Robert Jordan is good at making you feel the passage of time. If a trip takes a month, he makes it feel like it took a month to read that trip. His story is extremely predictable and his characters are sometimes laughably bad. Basically every woman in his books is the same as every other woman. A bitch who treats everyone around her like crap and acts like her doodoo smells like roses yet none of the men around her will dig a hole and throw her in it like she deserves. I am fairly certain that Jordan(Rigney) wrote half of his book with his pants around his ankles. There is no sex in the books really, but I lost count of all of the times where a woman just had to be naked in front of a bunch of strangers and she was so embarrassed and ashamed. Hey, it's tradition to whip out our tits to prove we're women, let's do it! Hey, we don't have a lot of water, so let's all get naked and hang out in a tent together, no big deal. Hey, I have to go to this city in the desert to prove I'm smart and strong, I'll walk there naked! There are also several veiled BDSM bits that get quite tedious.
    Martin has plenty of sex in his series, but for the most part, it actually serves as an important part of the story. There are a few exceptions, but no one is perfect.
    Ugh, I get fired up about these books. I am coming off a bit too harsh on the Wheel of Time series, but it does have some really terrible moments. Overall, it's a solid story, though it is predictable.
    I look at Martin's work with a little bit of a rose-colored glasses complex, and I acknowledge that, but I can't think of a single moment in the books where I rolled my eyes at the lameness. Mostly, it just captivates me. There are so many mysteries and subplots to think about. The story is far less predictable than anything else I have ever read. Many of the surprises have been spoiled, seeing as the books have been out for years, but it's still an amazing story.
    If you want a quick and easy taste of his style and the world his stories take place in, check out the short story called The Hedge Knight. It takes place in the same world, but roughly 100 years earlier. Much simpler story as well, seeing as there are only two characters really.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:41 pm
  • How many times did I read "she folded her arms beneath her breasts"? I lost count.

    I'm in no position to claim anybody is better at writing than anybody else. I'm an idiot. I don't know nothin about nothin.

    WoT was a moderately challenging read for me. Partly because it's so slow, but also because I felt like I needed to really focus. He's wordy and very descriptive. Ice & Fire was an easy read for me. There's a lot of characters and it made it a little difficult to remember everything that was going on after the fact, but I felt like I could just breeze through it and never felt like I was missing anything.

    I appreciate Jordan as a wordsmith. I think he had a better command over the English language. But I think Martin's a better story teller and had a better story to tell. So I don't know which one that makes the better writer, that's just how I feel about the 2 series.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:47 pm
  • Perceptions sure to vary from person to person..interesting.

    Like I said originally, for me the IDEA is wonderful and Im really enjoying the overall story arc. I enjoy the method even.. shifting character to character. I just think, a la George Lucas, the writer is better at the idea side of the story than the actual telling of the story. And if he reminds me one more time that the Stark house uses the direwolf as its symbol I will choke him on it. Yes, yes..I get it.. Lannisters gold..lions.. Stark..direwolf.. you dont need to remind me EVERY time. After the 400th page of the SECOND book, I can in fact remember that on my own. Oh.. and yes, I get it.. the comet is red. Still. Why dont we just assume its still red, and if it changes..THEN you tell me about it? Deal? No? Thought not.

    Some things are quite clever, and I dig this magical but not magical setting.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:18 am
  • Vetamur wrote:Perceptions sure to vary from person to person..interesting.

    Like I said originally, for me the IDEA is wonderful and Im really enjoying the overall story arc. I enjoy the method even.. shifting character to character. I just think, a la George Lucas, the writer is better at the idea side of the story than the actual telling of the story. And if he reminds me one more time that the Stark house uses the direwolf as its symbol I will choke him on it. Yes, yes..I get it.. Lannisters gold..lions.. Stark..direwolf.. you dont need to remind me EVERY time. After the 400th page of the SECOND book, I can in fact remember that on my own. Oh.. and yes, I get it.. the comet is red. Still. Why dont we just assume its still red, and if it changes..THEN you tell me about it? Deal? No? Thought not.

    Some things are quite clever, and I dig this magical but not magical setting.


    That's another thing. Seems like the comet was supposed to mean something, but after a while, people just forget about it and it's not mentioned again. No explanation is given and what seemed like an important plot point just sort of fades into obscurity. And get used to the endless heraldry descriptions. probably my least favorite thing about the series, along with the endless descriptions of how everyone is dressed, and the gratuitous sexual descriptions.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:05 am
  • Thanks, LargentFan. That was right along the lines of what I've heard regarding those books. And as far as what it takes to be a "better" writer, well that's the $64,000 question. For me, the task is simple: can the author tell the story in such a way that the reader completely tunes him out of mind and sees only the story? Can the writer become so invisible that all that's left is pure story? If so, they've done their job. The second I get jerked back out of a story because I'm suddenly aware of the author's overuse of certain words, or cardboard characters, or Mary Sues, or unbelievable plot twists, or deus ex machina, or whatever, that's the second the writer loses a bit of luster.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:19 am
  • Seahawk Sailor wrote:Thanks, LargentFan. That was right along the lines of what I've heard regarding those books. And as far as what it takes to be a "better" writer, well that's the $64,000 question. For me, the task is simple: can the author tell the story in such a way that the reader completely tunes him out of mind and sees only the story? Can the writer become so invisible that all that's left is pure story? If so, they've done their job. The second I get jerked back out of a story because I'm suddenly aware of the author's overuse of certain words, or cardboard characters, or Mary Sues, or unbelievable plot twists, or deus ex machina, or whatever, that's the second the writer loses a bit of luster.


    Based off of my experience with both authors, Martin is more guilty of using some trite phrasing or overuse of words. That's why I said he was technically worse than Jordan... his skill with the language itself isn't up to Jordan's standard. But in all of those other examples you mention, Jordan's more guilty.

    I like Martin's concept and story FAR better than Jordan's. I like Jordan's skill with language FAR better than Martin's (though he had his irritating moments, too... I mean, how many damn times do I need to read "Nyneave tugged on her braid..."??).
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:14 am
  • And who tugs on a braid anyway? I kept trying to picture it. Nothin doin.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:00 pm
  • Zebulon Dak wrote:
    Also, anybody who thinks he's long winded or uses too many words is probably not much of a fantasy fan because as those go he's not even close to the worst offender I've run across.


    I disagree. You can enjoy fantasy or any genre and be able to spot poor writing. Just because fantasy happens to be
    more of a niche or specialty genre doesn't mean it can't be held up to the same standards
    as any other work. Martin is not the worst offender ever, for sure, but he is presently the most notable and he is
    the one being discussed here and in the thread about the Game of Thrones tv series.

    I've been reading fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and on and on since I was a teeny tiny fellow and I can spot 'good' from 'bad'.
    Ice and Fire is a very good tale, stretched thin and near the breaking point by its creator.

    Someone needs to stand behind him as he writes with this thing:

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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:06 am
  • Bullshit. Almost every other fantasy writer I've read is more descriptive and long winded than Martin.By a lot.


    Edit : this is a lie. It isn't true. I don't remember posing that haha. Wow.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:52 am
  • The first GoT book I read was Storm of Swords ( the third one) and it is easilythe best. This is maybe the only series where I might suggest jumping ahead, read the third book, then you will be hooked, and want to read the first two just to see where some of the subplots came from.
    Unlikemany series writers, Martin doesnt take the first couple chapters to rehash the story to that point, he just gets on with it.
    Also, for lackof a better term, I consider him somewhat fearless as a writer . . . he does not use deus ex machina . . if a character gets in a spot where they should probably end up dead . . . they die! The main "character" of the books is the world, not the people on it . . they are just chapters.

    As far as GoT vs WoT . . I gave up on WoT about 8 books in . . Jordan kept adding more threads to thestory, and even when a thread had closed, he would bring it back . . . pretty much NOBODY was allowed to die in those books, and I got god awful tired o every girl "sniffing" or whatever other tired cliche he would come up with for each. It was very easy to predict what was coming and how it would turn out, I don't say resolve, because nothing ever got resolved. I felt he completely lost control of his story and where he was trying to take it, and fell into a warlord of gor sort of schlock. I did, sfter jis death, read the one written by the guy who wasbrought in to finish the story, and it seemed hr might be gettng a little back on track, but don't know if I will bother any further.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:25 am
  • The deus ex machina is quite possibly one of my biggest pet peeves. Hate it. Good to know Martin isn't a fan either. I have heard good about that series as well. Maybe it's time.

    And a small side rant about length in F/SF genres. Again. It's pretty common knowledge F/SF supports (and even needs) a little more length to get the job done. The world building usually demands it, at least to some extent. You can't just plop characters down in Middle Earth or The Matrix and expect the reader to understand what's going on in the world, what's important, what's different than expected, and what the key elements that affect plot are. So you have to explain it. Hopefully as painlessly, and with as little an "infodump" as possible.

    Problem is, writers tend to take this to extremes, especially newer ones. They see these great tomes like The Stand, and The Lord of the Rings, and GoT and WoT, and think a F/SF story can't start out right until they've spent a proper amount of time world building, which of course is boring as whale shit, and half as useful. It's that phenomenon that ruins a lot of F/SF novels, and makes folks shy away from reading new ones from authors they aren't yet familiar with. This, coupled with "diarrhea of the pen" as I've heard it called, makes F/SF novels far too verbose.

    Some writers tend to write long, while others write short. Editing makes their work the correct size, either slimming things down or fattening them up. When someone writes short and doesn't edit enough, it usually doesn't make the cut as a novel. When someone writes too long and doesn't edit enough, these massive wordy tomes are the result. So in short, I'd say it's more on the editing than the writing for these series, whether self-editing or at the point in the process where a professional editor needed to suggest cuts and either didn't or was overruled/ignored. The part about keeping characters alive, no matter how many clichés and instances of deus ex machina one needs to employ, is simply bad writing.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:46 am
  • Seahawk Sailor wrote:The deus ex machina is quite possibly one of my biggest pet peeves. Hate it. Good to know Martin isn't a fan either. I have heard good about that series as well. Maybe it's time.

    And a small side rant about length in F/SF genres. Again. It's pretty common knowledge F/SF supports (and even needs) a little more length to get the job done. The world building usually demands it, at least to some extent. You can't just plop characters down in Middle Earth or The Matrix and expect the reader to understand what's going on in the world, what's important, what's different than expected, and what the key elements that affect plot are. So you have to explain it. Hopefully as painlessly, and with as little an "infodump" as possible.

    Problem is, writers tend to take this to extremes, especially newer ones. They see these great tomes like The Stand, and The Lord of the Rings, and GoT and WoT, and think a F/SF story can't start out right until they've spent a proper amount of time world building, which of course is boring as whale shit, and half as useful. It's that phenomenon that ruins a lot of F/SF novels, and makes folks shy away from reading new ones from authors they aren't yet familiar with. This, coupled with "diarrhea of the pen" as I've heard it called, makes F/SF novels far too verbose.

    Some writers tend to write long, while others write short. Editing makes their work the correct size, either slimming things down or fattening them up. When someone writes short and doesn't edit enough, it usually doesn't make the cut as a novel. When someone writes too long and doesn't edit enough, these massive wordy tomes are the result. So in short, I'd say it's more on the editing than the writing for these series, whether self-editing or at the point in the process where a professional editor needed to suggest cuts and either didn't or was overruled/ignored. The part about keeping characters alive, no matter how many clichés and instances of deus ex machina one needs to employ, is simply bad writing.


    That's a reason I like Guy Gavriel Kay. He does a lot of fantasy that's loosely based in historical contexts like medieval France, ancient Rome, Viking-era Scandinavia, etc. and he allows those contexts to be established pretty organically throughout the text. It's still a technically different world, but it borrows from those cultures. Anyone here ever read Kay?
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:51 am
  • volsunghawk wrote:
    Seahawk Sailor wrote:The deus ex machina is quite possibly one of my biggest pet peeves. Hate it. Good to know Martin isn't a fan either. I have heard good about that series as well. Maybe it's time.

    And a small side rant about length in F/SF genres. Again. It's pretty common knowledge F/SF supports (and even needs) a little more length to get the job done. The world building usually demands it, at least to some extent. You can't just plop characters down in Middle Earth or The Matrix and expect the reader to understand what's going on in the world, what's important, what's different than expected, and what the key elements that affect plot are. So you have to explain it. Hopefully as painlessly, and with as little an "infodump" as possible.

    Problem is, writers tend to take this to extremes, especially newer ones. They see these great tomes like The Stand, and The Lord of the Rings, and GoT and WoT, and think a F/SF story can't start out right until they've spent a proper amount of time world building, which of course is boring as whale shit, and half as useful. It's that phenomenon that ruins a lot of F/SF novels, and makes folks shy away from reading new ones from authors they aren't yet familiar with. This, coupled with "diarrhea of the pen" as I've heard it called, makes F/SF novels far too verbose.

    Some writers tend to write long, while others write short. Editing makes their work the correct size, either slimming things down or fattening them up. When someone writes short and doesn't edit enough, it usually doesn't make the cut as a novel. When someone writes too long and doesn't edit enough, these massive wordy tomes are the result. So in short, I'd say it's more on the editing than the writing for these series, whether self-editing or at the point in the process where a professional editor needed to suggest cuts and either didn't or was overruled/ignored. The part about keeping characters alive, no matter how many clichés and instances of deus ex machina one needs to employ, is simply bad writing.


    That's a reason I like Guy Gavriel Kay. He does a lot of fantasy that's loosely based in historical contexts like medieval France, ancient Rome, Viking-era Scandinavia, etc. and he allows those contexts to be established pretty organically throughout the text. It's still a technically different world, but it borrows from those cultures. Anyone here ever read Kay?


    No, but I'm going to look up his works on Amazon now.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:09 am
  • I have his book The Summer Tree on my to-read list.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:32 am
  • The Fionavar Tapestry (trilogy) and Tigana are probably his most popular works. I have yet to read anything Kay's written that I didn't absolutely love.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:34 am
  • Well looks like my to-read list just got a little longer.

    Have you read Joe Abercrombie?
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:37 am
  • Zebulon Dak wrote:
    Have you read Joe Abercrombie?


    He's not as good since he stopped collaborating with John Fitch.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:39 am
  • peachesenregalia wrote:
    Zebulon Dak wrote:
    Have you read Joe Abercrombie?


    He's not as good since he stopped collaborating with John Fitch.


    :|
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:39 am
  • Zebulon Dak wrote:Well looks like my to-read list just got a little longer.

    Have you read Joe Abercrombie?


    No, but after reading a few synopses of his books, I plan to.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:51 am
  • I think GRRM is a fantastic writer and storyteller. The voice of each POV character seems distinctive to me and some of the descriptive passages have literally given me chills. During my first read, I would pull in my driveway each day after work, pick up whichever book I was on and read until it was dark. I couldn't even make it in to the hose.

    As for the grammatical issues, I've only noticed a few "should of" instances and they've been in dialogue of characters that I would expect to say "should of" instead of "should have" (less educated characters). I'm pretty sure the word choice was deliberate. At least that's what I've always assumed. I've also seen it used correctly. There is a good example in the second Dunk & Egg novella where an obviously stupid knight uses "should of" in conversation with a well spoken knight uses "should have". This occurs within lines of each other on the page and I think it serves to paint a picture of the characters. You wouldn't expect an uneducated character to speak properly. Just my take on it.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:51 pm
  • I'm in the hospital and can't write properly..
    But thought I'd follow up on this. Being in the hospital but not super heavy medicated I'm reading a lot, including this series.
    First, to address the comment above-- the should of problem isn't meant to be dialog showing an accent. I can demonstrate that clearly from where it occurs and the fact tat it's not an accent it's how should have sounds ..

    Anyway, writing this because of two more blatant errors I came across just today. I took pics of them even since some people don't believe how badly the book is edited.
    In one case a character hears sounds on the deck of a boat. He clearly meant FOOTFALL, but the editor has us imaging the character hearing a football on deck. Seriously. If anything will take you out of a book it's something like that.. Medieval knight, listening in the dark... And out of 21sr century America a football suddenly bounces on the deck of his ancient galley.

    Then not too much further into the book an even more egregious error. A character loses his hand... It becomes the main character point for the character.. There is are rarely 4 sentences in a row that don't mention the now missing hand... The stump, the phantom pain, etc etc.. Then suddenly this one handed character CUPS HIS HANDS AND SHOUTS. How can an author who is obsessed with the characters lack of a hand... Then write that?
    Frustrating.
    Well, time to get a new IV... Sorry for the petty rant .
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:27 am
  • Vetamur wrote:Then suddenly this one handed character CUPS HIS HANDS AND SHOUTS. How can an author who is obsessed with the characters lack of a hand... Then write that?


    Now this I do remember. I don't recall the football thing though. Maybe mine is a later edition?
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:04 am
  • Those are definitely things that should get caught in the editing process - and even in the self-editing process before the book goes to an editor. The issue about the football is a copyedit and proofreading issue. Copyedits are supposed to correct things like spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc., while proofreading is supposed to correct any differences between the written material and the copy that goes to print. Errors like this are fairly common in first editions of novels, even from major publishing houses. Subsequent additions should have all or most of these errors corrected.

    The "cups his hands and shouts" issue is a bit trickier, and may have to do with changes from the first draft to later drafts, where major story elements have changed. Say the first draft was a version where the guy didn't lose a hand. Writing "cups his hands and shouts" then makes perfect sense with the story. Now the author, on subsequent drafts changes things up, the hand gets lost, and he has to go back and ensure all of the rest of the book from that point on lines up with the fact he only has one hand. Something like that is easy to miss. And while that should get caught in edits later on, it's easily enough missed there too. This kind of thing happens all the time, in essentially every book out there. The fact such errors don't show up more often is a tribute to the professionals doing the editing.

    It's all attention to detail. And it's easy enough to miss a word or two when one is dealing with 80,000 to 100,000 words, or in the case of epic fantasy and science fiction, a whole lot more even.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:41 am
  • No.... This isn't a "originally he didn't lose the hand" issue. It's essentially that characters story arc for book 3.
    I don't read tons of fiction so maybe I just dont notice these errors in other books but I've never come across anything quite like this. And again it's not that I want to dislike the books. I like the story (though from book 3 it seems to be getting rather less original...).

    And the authors lack of subtlety.. Each character has their.. Main feature .. And the author hounds on it and hounds on it. We can't have a paragraph about Brienne without mentioning again she is ugly and mannish. Sam thinks himself a coward so that occupies every thought of every day. Catelyn is sad and misses people and so every thing that she ever does or encounters reminds her to be sad and that she misses them and she is lonely.
    A good author doesn't need to tell directly what someone feels.. You know how the character feels by what they do or say. He or she certainly doesn't make each character have one chief characteristic and just pound that fact into the reader every other sentence.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:49 am
  • It may well be an issue of him having the hand in the original draft - we'll never know unless the author comes out and says so. Most of the time first drafts look night-and-day different from the final product, including major plot points, and even story arc for an entire series. Even if it's the entire story arc for the rest of the series, it could have been a change from the original. I've written stories where minor characters I've mentioned in passing suddenly took over the story and I've had to go back and rewrite the entire thing. I've had major twists in plot happen because a character decides to do something unexpected. Yes, they're funny that way, and especially so when they're well-rounded characters.

    The rest of that is style failures in the author. It's easy to do, to project yourself onto characters and then change one major identity mark to separate them from the rest. To me, that last paragraph there, Ross, is my main concern with picking up a new series. I cannot get into it if the characters are cardboard, and do nothing but follow standard, overused tropes. And this is especially so if the author can't seem to realize that readers will pick up on something the first couple of times he says it.
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Re: Game of the Thrones, the books..
Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:06 am
  • Vetamur wrote:And the authors lack of subtlety.. Each character has their.. Main feature .. And the author hounds on it and hounds on it.


    That's so annoying, it makes me want to tug my braid. :mrgreen:
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