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A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

Yeah, for some authors witty conversation comes really easily and seems natural. For Sanderson, you get the impression that he's really forcing it, it probably took him awhile to write, and isn't that good.

To be fair, I didn't mind Lightsong. I also don't hate Wit, though he's not that funny. But Shallan was terrible, and I don't think it's just "she thinks she's funny but she's not." There have already been a few scenes where she's dealing with sailors/other help, ripping off "witty" retorts, and everyone around her is cracking up and being amazed at how hilarious she is.

Her lines are the worst I've seen thus far, and all come across kind of like:

"Young Miss, what is it you intend to do?"
Shallan: "Tend the dew? I think the leaves tend dew quite well without my help, thank you."

It's horrible.

That said, it's my only real problem so far. I love his stuff, and can deal with a few groanworthy jokes.

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treeboy
Nov 13, 2004

James T. Kirk was a great man, but that was another life.


Rootbeer Baron posted:

Just my opinion though, I'm sure there's lots of people who his humor works for.

I enjoy it, but it may be a cultural thing.

IRQ
Sep 9, 2001

SUCK A DICK, DUMBSHITS!



A Nice Boy posted:

Yeah, for some authors witty conversation comes really easily and seems natural. For Sanderson, you get the impression that he's really forcing it, it probably took him awhile to write, and isn't that good.

To be fair, I didn't mind Lightsong. I also don't hate Wit, though he's not that funny. But Shallan was terrible, and I don't think it's just "she thinks she's funny but she's not." There have already been a few scenes where she's dealing with sailors/other help, ripping off "witty" retorts, and everyone around her is cracking up and being amazed at how hilarious she is.

Her lines are the worst I've seen thus far, and all come across kind of like:

"Young Miss, what is it you intend to do?"
Shallan: "Tend the dew? I think the leaves tend dew quite well without my help, thank you."

It's horrible.

That said, it's my only real problem so far. I love his stuff, and can deal with a few groanworthy jokes.

Shallan was written pretty drat weird all around. It was like Sanderson wasn't sure what she was supposed to be even from the start. She's just a huge barrel of contradictions and her motivations don't seem known to anyone, including herself and Sanderson.

VAGENDA OF MANOCIDE
Aug 1, 2004

whoa, what just happened here?







College Slice

IRQ posted:

She's just a huge barrel of contradictions and her motivations don't seem known to anyone

You don't think that's intentional?

Atlas Hugged
Mar 12, 2007


Put your arms around me,
fiddly digits, itchy britches
I love you all


Musings and dialog in general really seems to be Sanderson's weakest point. For all the world building and plotting he does, he can't get two characters talking to each other to sound natural.

It's why I really hated any scene with Ham in it. Ham seems like an interesting character, but loving Christ I despised reading anything that came out of his mouth. I like to think that the reason why he played a smaller and smaller role in each book was because all of the other characters were tired of his bullshit, too, and just wanted him as far away from them as possible.

Having read everything but Warbreaker, I still couldn't recite a single line of memorable dialog from any of his books. Compare that to Jordan or Martin who for all of their flaws still manage to crank out some fantastic lines. Those guys, and Jordan especially, get a ton of poo poo for what their characters have said, but in my opinion that's because when they're bad, it stands in such stark contrast to the rest of their work and they end up being held to a much higher standard.

Sanderson at his best is merely passable, but at his worst I want to slap his characters in the face.

I read Sanderson now mostly for the cool magic systems and set pieces, but I don't really expect any actual depth from his characters or characterizations.

Edit: Ham's only even interesting because he's a somewhat unique take on a cliche. We expect him to be big and dumb because he's a Thug, but he's actually deep and philosophical. Really though, that's also a cliche these days. But he's not! He actually uses his faux-philosophic queries to hide the fact that he really is big and dumb. Elend even comments on it towards the end of HoA. In my opinion, this is why he always turned down positions of command. He didn't want his secret to be out or to disappoint everyone with his terrible leadership skills.

Atlas Hugged fucked around with this message at 08:10 on Jun 9, 2011

Cartoon Man
Jan 31, 2004

Nyah hah hah hah hah!



Here's a few interesting tweets from some people who got to read an advanced copy of Alloy of Law.

http://twitter.com/#!/BrandSanderson/statuses/78747443197526016
http://twitter.com/#!/BrandSanderson/statuses/78747588614033408

quote:

Loved sidekick and way world changed in 300 years. Loved old West feel.
Fighting stuff better. Loved intro of guns. Writing better than ever. Rating 10.

Wild west steampunk with guns and allomancy. :clint:

Edit: Its interesting to note the comment about his writing being better than ever. This is the first book he's written that was not pre-drafted 10 or so years ago during his post college days before he first got published. Its also the first thing he's done since he's been working on the Wheel of Time. Hopefully it will be a marked improvement over his previous works.

Cartoon Man fucked around with this message at 14:26 on Jun 9, 2011

Decius
Oct 14, 2005



Ramrod XTreme

arioch posted:

You don't think that's intentional?

Yeah, that was my impression too. She is pulled into so many directions by different factions/loyalties that it - even if not intentional - it fits her perfectly.

Decius fucked around with this message at 14:13 on Jun 9, 2011

IRQ
Sep 9, 2001

SUCK A DICK, DUMBSHITS!



arioch posted:

You don't think that's intentional?

To a point, but it makes her difficult to like as a character.

MajorBonnet
May 28, 2009

How did I get here?


A Nice Boy posted:


"Young Miss, what is it you intend to do?"
Shallan: "Tend the dew? I think the leaves tend dew quite well without my help, thank you."


Why did you have to remind me of this line? I was much happier with my fantasy that everyone else thought she was dumb. But now that you've reminded me, yes, you're right, everyone else in the story did act like she was clever.

Then again, they are just a bunch of dumb sailors, right?

Atlas Hugged
Mar 12, 2007


Put your arms around me,
fiddly digits, itchy britches
I love you all


I just realized that she was a selfish girl who didn't trust anyone thrust into a world of research who learned to love that lifestyle.

Wait, which book are we talking about?

VAGENDA OF MANOCIDE
Aug 1, 2004

whoa, what just happened here?







College Slice

Haraksha posted:

I just realized that she was a selfish girl who didn't trust anyone thrust into a world of research who learned to love that lifestyle.

Wait, which book are we talking about?

That and the fact that she is in possession of her own shardblade and killed her father either with it or probably for it. That's probably a "holy poo poo" level of revelation that should change the prism her character is viewed through for the entire book.

Atlas Hugged
Mar 12, 2007


Put your arms around me,
fiddly digits, itchy britches
I love you all


So she's basically Vin, again.

wallaka
Jun 8, 2010

Least it wasn't a fucking red shell


Haraksha posted:

So she's basically Vin, again.

Not really. When we meet Vin, she was meek and was dependent on her brother and her crewleaders for anything. Shallan is the opposite of that: she comes into the story as an inventive, assertive (and as it turns out, ruthless) person, despite being saddled with the punniest dialogue I've seen outside of a Discworld novel. At least Pratchett knows what he's doing when he writes it.

Atlas Hugged
Mar 12, 2007


Put your arms around me,
fiddly digits, itchy britches
I love you all


Yeah, that was unfair of me. I just feel there's a certain sameness between all of Sanderson's female characters. Yeah, the minute details are different, but the voices end up being fairly similar.

If this were a GRRM novel, I wouldn't be shocked to see her dead or mutilated, but I just don't think Sanderson has it in him.

Instead, she's probably going to be another clone of Sarene.

Cartoon Man
Jan 31, 2004

Nyah hah hah hah hah!



I said it earlier, but this was the last book that he had pre-written back in his post-college years before he got published in 2005. I'm hopeful that since he's grown as a writer that he can make some improvements when book 2 comes out, especially in how his females sound. Alloy of Law will be a good litmus test this fall.

Kalas
Jul 27, 2007


arioch posted:

That and the fact that she is in possession of her own shardblade and killed her father either with it or probably for it. That's probably a "holy poo poo" level of revelation that should change the prism her character is viewed through for the entire book.

The way I looked at that situation, she got it as a side effect of killing her father for another reason. He sounded like he was getting odd/unstable. He was supposed to be violent to his children, only herself being spared his wrath...perhaps for uncomfortable reasons . I'm sure her backstory will make sense of things, the wait is a pain.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

ElMudo posted:

Why did you have to remind me of this line? I was much happier with my fantasy that everyone else thought she was dumb. But now that you've reminded me, yes, you're right, everyone else in the story did act like she was clever.

Then again, they are just a bunch of dumb sailors, right?

Haha, that's not actually a line from the book. I made it up. I'll take it as a sign that my criticism of Shallan is spot on, however, in that the line was so believable that you raelly thought it was her. But yeah, I didn't have the book handy and was trying to make up something that sounded like one of her lines.

MajorBonnet
May 28, 2009

How did I get here?


A Nice Boy posted:

Haha, that's not actually a line from the book. I made it up. I'll take it as a sign that my criticism of Shallan is spot on, however, in that the line was so believable that you raelly thought it was her. But yeah, I didn't have the book handy and was trying to make up something that sounded like one of her lines.

I didn't have a book handy either, but it did sound exactly like the scene with the sailors, where she makes a retarded pun and they all circlejerk over it.

So, kudos, you are correct, goonsir.

IRQ
Sep 9, 2001

SUCK A DICK, DUMBSHITS!



ElMudo posted:

I didn't have a book handy either, but it did sound exactly like the scene with the sailors, where she makes a retarded pun and they all circlejerk over it.

So, kudos, you are correct, goonsir.

The sailors were obviously patronizing her, but I don't disagree that her dialog was pretty bad.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

IRQ posted:

The sailors were obviously patronizing her, but I don't disagree that her dialog was pretty bad.

I disagree. I actually reread the scene when I first got there, just to figure out if they were just humoring her. He doesn't indicate anywhere that they are.

IRQ
Sep 9, 2001

SUCK A DICK, DUMBSHITS!



A Nice Boy posted:

I disagree. I actually reread the scene when I first got there, just to figure out if they were just humoring her. He doesn't indicate anywhere that they are.

It could just be my perception of them, but they seemed like they were laying it on really thick.

MajorBonnet
May 28, 2009

How did I get here?


IRQ posted:

It could just be my perception of them, but they seemed like they were laying it on really thick.

I just re-read it and while it does seem a little thick, there isn't any other indication in the text that they're just humoring her. I think it's just another symptom of Sanderson's trouble with dialogue.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

I don't think his dialogue is as bad as some people are indicating. He's fine when it comes to dramatic stuff, and I like the interplay between Adolin and his father. It just feel like his dialogue lacks a certain...Deftness. It often doesn't flow like real dialogue does. The problem with his jokes and humor is that most incidental humor in the world comes from dialogue kind of leading it there...You say something, I say something funny back, you make a play on words, etc. Sanderson tries to shoehorn it in in places where it doesn't belong, and in a lot of ways it just screams "THIS CHARACTER IS TRYING TO BE FUNNY RIGHT NOW."

As I said, his dialogue isn't bad. Definitely not memorably, as someone up above pointed as, like the genre heavyweights. Folk like Martin/Abercrombie/Erikson have some great, quotable lines in their books. Sanderson isn't there yet, but I think he could be. He's not hopeless or terrible, just not there yet.

Luckily, his books are really good anyway. :)

Atlas Hugged
Mar 12, 2007


Put your arms around me,
fiddly digits, itchy britches
I love you all


I'm trying to imagine Sanderson writing something like the "Raped her, killed her, murdered her children" sequence from Storm of Swords. That scene only works because of the dialog. The action is nice, but it's all in what the characters say. In Sanderson's version, I imagine The Mountain would crack a witty one liner rather than hitting back with brutal and disturbing honesty.

I'm definitely in the "I believe he can get better at this in time" camp, but I'm not rushing to read Alloy of Law. I enjoy Sanderson, but I need to cleanse my pallet.

Atlas Hugged fucked around with this message at 03:00 on Jun 10, 2011

Mahlertov Cocktail
Mar 1, 2010

I ate your Mahler avatar! Hahahaha!

Haraksha posted:

I'm trying to imagine Sanderson writing something like the "Raped her, killed her, murdered her children" sequence from Feast For Crows. That scene only works because of the dialog. The action is nice, but it's all in what the characters say. In Sanderson's version, I imagine The Mountain would crack a witty one liner rather than hitting back with brutal and disturbing honesty.

I'm definitely in the "I believe he can get better at this in time" camp, but I'm not rushing to read Alloy of Law. I enjoy Sanderson, but I need to cleanse my pallet.

It's in Storm of Swords, actually. I agree. But then, Sanderson's characters aren't nearly as personally brutal as Martin's. The Inquisitors and Lord Ruler murder people, sure, but even that is mitigated by their being partially (or in the third book, completely) controlled by Ruin.

Atlas Hugged
Mar 12, 2007


Put your arms around me,
fiddly digits, itchy britches
I love you all


Ah, right, I forget that was part of the Tyrion trial plot.

Mahlertov Cocktail
Mar 1, 2010

I ate your Mahler avatar! Hahahaha!

Not to derail too hard, but this is making me excited to reread ASoIaF. I get my copies of the books back from a friend tomorrow and I'm pumped to read them again just in time for ADwD. :dance:

To get back on topic: I also need to finish Wheel of Time, but that should be a lot faster once I finish book 10. I get to read Sanderson's parts soon!

IRQ
Sep 9, 2001

SUCK A DICK, DUMBSHITS!



Mahlertov Cocktail posted:

Not to derail too hard, but this is making me excited to reread ASoIaF. I get my copies of the books back from a friend tomorrow and I'm pumped to read them again just in time for ADwD. :dance:

To get back on topic: I also need to finish Wheel of Time, but that should be a lot faster once I finish book 10. I get to read Sanderson's parts soon!

Skip 10, read the wikipedia summary.

Seriously, it's not worth it.

subx
Jan 12, 2003

If we hit that bullseye, the rest of the dominoes should fall like a house of cards. Checkmate.

Mahlertov Cocktail posted:

To get back on topic: I also need to finish Wheel of Time, but that should be a lot faster once I finish book 10. I get to read Sanderson's parts soon!

Read the last 10% of the book and you will get everything you need from it. Knife of Dreams is quite a bit better at least.

Mahlertov Cocktail
Mar 1, 2010

I ate your Mahler avatar! Hahahaha!

Sorry, my completionist nature won't allow it. :shobon: I'm about 3/4 through, though, so I'll be done soon enough.

subx
Jan 12, 2003

If we hit that bullseye, the rest of the dominoes should fall like a house of cards. Checkmate.

Mahlertov Cocktail posted:

Sorry, my completionist nature won't allow it. :shobon: I'm about 3/4 through, though, so I'll be done soon enough.

As terrible as it is plot wise (nothing happening) it's still beautiful writing. Jordan had amazing prose. Also its not nearly as bad as it was back when it was the latest book. Not having another one to read right after you finished it was really disappointing.

Mahlertov Cocktail
Mar 1, 2010

I ate your Mahler avatar! Hahahaha!

But there was literally a full page describing in minute detail how to wash silk, sooooo.

Atlas Hugged
Mar 12, 2007


Put your arms around me,
fiddly digits, itchy britches
I love you all


Very useful information, I think. It really lends to the realism and texture of the world.

subx
Jan 12, 2003

If we hit that bullseye, the rest of the dominoes should fall like a house of cards. Checkmate.

Isn't Crossroads the one with the entire chapter devoted to the girls in the bath? Yea that was pretty amazing.

Atlas Hugged
Mar 12, 2007


Put your arms around me,
fiddly digits, itchy britches
I love you all


Who doesn't like naked chicks in a bath?

Especially when they're pregnant, and whiney.

Cartoon Man
Jan 31, 2004

Nyah hah hah hah hah!



I try and pretend that book 10 and 11 are merged together.

Maytag
Nov 4, 2006

it's enough that it all be filled with that majestic sadness that is the pleasure of tragedy.

What's more annoying than nothing happening in book 10 is this same exact conversation coming up every single time it's mentioned.

Mahlertov Cocktail
Mar 1, 2010

I ate your Mahler avatar! Hahahaha!

Maytag posted:

What's more annoying than nothing happening in book 10 is this same exact conversation coming up every single time it's mentioned.

Yeah well shut up, I'm reading it and it sucks. :colbert: The problem is that until the last few chapters, it all felt like an introduction and the real meat of the story hadn't started yet. Because, you know, it hadn't. It's starting to pick up with Egwene dealing with the Hall, though. Also she's not an intensely annoying character, unlike Perrin, Faile, and Elayne. Does Sanderson develop the female characters any better than Jordan did? Because they, excepting Egwene, are by far the weak points of these books apart from the pacing slump in the past couple.

IRQ
Sep 9, 2001

SUCK A DICK, DUMBSHITS!



Yes, Sanderson makes them less 1 dimensional, and Egwene starts to seriously own.

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Mahlertov Cocktail
Mar 1, 2010

I ate your Mahler avatar! Hahahaha!

Man, Egwene already owns. One of the best parts of Path of Daggers was when she tricked the Hall into legally having to obey any order she gives with regards to the war with Elaida.

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