Sunday, 9 January 2011

Query letter...reprise. and The Wheel of Time

Okay, so I was wrong in my last blog entry. I have a lot of work to do. :P Namely, finding the actual HEART of my MC's emotional problem. I definitely shouldn't have spoken too soon. Hehe.

Anyway...

I thought I would talk about the books I'm reading right now, in an effort to get my attention off my floundering query and stalled editing of novel for said query, and...yeah. That stuff. I've been reading the Wheel of Time series since I was about 14 or so. It's a series by Robert Jordan, but some may know that Mr. Jordan passed away in 2007. The series wasn't finished, but Jordan had planned everything out. And he'd even enlisted his wife to find a replacement author to complete the story after he was gone. Cue Brandon Sanderson.

But anyway, I want to stay at the beginning for now. Naturally I started with book 1, The Eye of the World, or tEotW as it's known in WoT circles. Hehe. At first I only got through a few chapters, then took it back to the school library. But later on I saw a fellow student reading a later book in the series, and decided to give book 1 another go. This time I was hooked, and never looked back.

Well, okay, I kind of looked back after reading book 10. It had been so long since I'd read the early books by this point that I was quite vague on the details of what had even happened in the series. I did remember stuff from the latest book a little better, but even then a lot had been forgotten. So...I gave up. Book 11 came out, and I bought it, but didn't read it. I knew I had to do a re-read before I could read it. I attempted a re-read at one point, and gave up after a chapter or so of re-reading book 1. Book 12 came out, everyone was raving, I learned some spoilers by accident. Damn it! And serious spoilers they were, too. I still put off my re-read. Then last year, in the lead-up to book 13's release, I finally decided to bite the bullet and started my re-read. I posted a thread for each book, commenting on that thread as I got through the book. The threads are all located here on the A'vron forums. Anyway...



The re-read was truly amazing and illuminating. I found myself getting through the books pretty quickly. And it really was the best thing I could have done in regards to this series. I had forgotten SO MUCH. It's amazing the dramatic events in a narrative one can completely blank out over the years. What is even weirder, some of it I didn't even remember reading before. My memory was not stoked by the re-read. Odd! Anyway, I finally got through my re-read of book 10 (the last book I had finished). And it was time at last to move onto FRESH MEAT!

Book 11 held many wonders, many of which I already knew to expect thanks to those unwelcome spoilers. As I went through the re-read, I learned more spoilers, but for the most part managed to avoid complete disappointment. One thing to note about book 11: it's the last book in the series written entirely by the original author of the series, Robert Jordan. Book 12, which I got onto next (and am almost done with right now), was largely written by Sanderson, with intermittent scenes written in Jordan's hand. I wasn't sure what to expect about some other writer coming in to try and fill Jordan's shoes, but I've got some thoughts now:

When I started reading The Gathering Storm (book 12), I was cringing left, right and centre. This was not RJ's writing. He would never have used the word 'twister', or used that god-awful simile, or any of that. It really was awful in the beginning. The worst was probably that first scene. Then there was his writing of Mat Cauthon, making him way more misogynistic than I've ever seen him before. And where's all the women's complaining about men to balance it out? So yeah, I was a little alarmed by what I was reading. But I will say it's getting a lot easier, and I think Sanderson's writing improves a lot over the course of the book. I'm pretty sure there are less bad similes, and he mostly stays true to the characters. I'm still disappointed quite often with his word use. He makes the characters sound more American than 'old world', and that to me reads pretty awkward. But...yeah, I'll give him props for taking on this mammoth task.

Speaking of book 12, all I can say is: oh my bloody heck! Talk about action-packed, awe-inspiring and WOW! So much happens, so many epic scenes unfold, so many amazing revelations are provided, and...just yeah. I am nearly done with book 12. Then I'll be onto book 13, which I understand is pretty amazing too. And then we gave one more wait, for the final book of the series. Book 14, A Memory of Light. I am already crying to know the end is nigh. I know there'll probably be prequels and sequels and all that, but still...this will be the end of an amazing adventure. Saying goodbye to these old friends, friends I've known since I was 14, will not be easy.

It's going to be amazing to see how this story unfolds. There are a lot of loose ends that need tying, a lot of potential disasters that need to be prevented, and...

The Last Battle. It's coming.

Oh my!

8 comments:

  1. Oh god, finally - everyone seems to think I'm crazy for finding his writing of Mat to be way way off. It just doesn't sit right at all. And no, it's not the same writing, but I'll chalk one in his favor - he has a good economy of words. He packs a lot into what he writes, and in that, he's just the bloke for the job. But really, at this stage... just want it to be done. ><

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  2. oh yeah, I totally agree - I really love his pacing, much more than I did RJ's. :D Sure, RJ always wrote beautifully, more so than Sanderson does (at least in this series, haven't read his own books). But RJ sure knew how to drag stuff out. lol. I love that the chapters aren't ridiculously long, and that the SCENES aren't ridiculously long.

    I still wish he'd used words that RJ would've used. Which he should know because he's read RJ's books, right? hehe

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  3. Perhaps he didn't want to come off as trying to be RJ, which might've been the right choice. As disjointing as it was to read canon in someone elses' words, I think it would've cheapened what he was trying to do to do it more RJ. He did it justice in the end. Though, I admit, I'm going to be balls fucking pissed if he puts any more straight-from-fandom people - the Amyrlin of TarValon.net is in there twice in two books (two different characters that is), Jason got a mention, and that Blue from TarValon what died last year got a straight by-handle reference. If it were RJ doing that to his own books, that's one thing. That much fan service risks turning it from canon into mere fanfic. -__- I do support the fund-raiser thing that they did; that wasn't too in your face. But just straight-up handles and barely twisting ones' name? Yeah... no.

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  4. What if Shai'tan's name turned out to be...Jason Denzel? LOL. would that piss you off? j/k Jason!!! just saying... lol.

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  5. Aww, Jason isn't that bad. ;) I can't find the reference for some reason now, and I'm not about to inflict any more pain flipping through the wiki and data bases... stupid light on dark! ><

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  6. Yeah I know he's not that bad, was just trying to think of one of the most influential WoT fans out there LOL.

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  7. I think I read the first 5 books but I gave up. I loved the first three books but the rest kinda dragged for me.

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  8. Yeah, a lot of people couldn't get through them, but it's worth the slog I think :D Just my opinion. hehe.

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Thanks for your words, me hearties! and don't forget to leave a link to your blog somewhere I can find it!