Game of the Thrones, the books..

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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.
    Last edited by Zebulon Dak on Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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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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