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Sab669
Sep 24, 2009



Tokelau All Star posted:

I was in a real low mental health level when I read the Stormlight books. I was actually ok with Kaladin in ROW, because it resonated with me how he still couldn't put it all together no matter how far he had come or how much work he had done.

"That's my secret, Cap, I'm always angry depressed" - Kaladin

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Mordiceius
Nov 10, 2007

I was terrified at first, but I think I'm okay with it.



Started The Alloy of Law. It feels so weird to start yes after going through Mistborn. It is really neat to see the setting so long after, but having these powers in a society on the verge of modernity feels super weird and kind of jarring. I like it.

Tunicate
May 15, 2012





External Organs posted:

RoW: I wish we had gotten so much more of Kaladin inventing psychology. Maybe with the Ishar stuff next book, but that'll be frenetic. Brandon can write that kind of exploration really quite well, particularly in The Emperor's Soul. I think he tried with the Navani stuff but it maybe went on for a tad long. Come to think of it, the Navani stuff could have made an interesting novella, and swap that in with Dawnshard and the book maybe gets a lot better without much changing of plot.

I hope that the fan theory that Nale deliberately ensures that the treatment for all forms of mental illness was to lock the person in a box without access to stormlight, in order to make sure people likely to bind spren will be unable to take the next steps ends up being true, because that would be a good hook in with Kaladin's plotline.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

I'll split you open and I don't even like coconuts.


Brandon's already catering enough to the "mental illness is my superpower" crowd.

Torrannor
Apr 27, 2013

---FAGNER---
TEAM-MATE


Do you prefer audiobooks? Do you want to listen to Brandon reading the prologue of The Lost Metal? Here you go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FJnVlSekHg#t=109s

There's also a Q&A, it's from this year's JordanCon (RIP :()

CharlestheHammer
Jun 26, 2011

YOU SAY MY POSTS ARE THE RAVINGS OF THE DUMBEST PERSON ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH BUT YOU YOURSELF ARE READING THEM. CURIOUS!


I wonder if Brandon gets questions about his series being anime because it has both magic and fighting in it. Something anime does I guess?

Protocol7
Jul 26, 2012

Cyber Hellcat is not amused


CharlestheHammer posted:

I wonder if Brandon gets questions about his series being anime because it has both magic and fighting in it. Something anime does I guess?

I feel like this discussion has happened in the very thread. I'm certainly not opinionated one way or another, but I do see a lot of what I would consider anime tropes in some specific Stormlight Archive scenes.

CharlestheHammer
Jun 26, 2011

YOU SAY MY POSTS ARE THE RAVINGS OF THE DUMBEST PERSON ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH BUT YOU YOURSELF ARE READING THEM. CURIOUS!


Protocol7 posted:

I feel like this discussion has happened in the very thread. I'm certainly not opinionated one way or another, but I do see a lot of what I would consider anime tropes in some specific Stormlight Archive scenes.

I watch and like the specific genre I assume people are talking about (shonen) and I donít see it. I think shonen has more in common with more standard fantasy but even then in only in a very vague and general way

eke out
Feb 24, 2013



our main character gets magic powers that result in him flying, glowing, with his eyes changed color, there is a pretty obvious dbz connection

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

I'll split you open and I don't even like coconuts.


A lot of (all) the characters embody anime tropes, or behave in anime ways. Brandon has designed his world to have a magic system (spren) that visually represents emotions. These are like the common little embellishments you see in anime, like the scratchy 4 stroke sign meaning irritation or anger (it's like the balled up scribble in Charlie brown), the sweat drop, the red three angular strokes meaning embarrassment, the distended nose drip meaning astonishment, etc,.

scary ghost dog
Aug 5, 2007


CharlestheHammer posted:

I watch and like the specific genre I assume people are talking about (shonen) and I donít see it. I think shonen has more in common with more standard fantasy but even then in only in a very vague and general way

its not shounen, its seinen. the anime knower has logged on

scary ghost dog
Aug 5, 2007


most popular anime is defined by ultra long term storytelling planned out in advance with noticeable bumps in the main castís power after big narrative and personal milestones. aka boilerplate epic fantasy storytelling. what makes anime unique is the aesthetic that comes from being traditionally animated. its full of very visually appealing shorthand for character development, like your confidence manifesting as a literal glowing magic suit of armor you can put on people to rescue them, and the suit of armor is made out of your friends, but your best friend is your spear girlfriend.

White Chocolate
Jan 23, 2007
Sweat Baby, sweat baby

Just started RoW listening to it three hours in and

goddamn adolin.

White Chocolate fucked around with this message at 16:32 on Aug 1, 2021

eke out
Feb 24, 2013



scary ghost dog posted:

most popular anime is defined by ultra long term storytelling planned out in advance with noticeable bumps in the main castís power after big narrative and personal milestones. aka boilerplate epic fantasy storytelling. what makes anime unique is the aesthetic that comes from being traditionally animated. its full of very visually appealing shorthand for character development, like your confidence manifesting as a literal glowing magic suit of armor you can put on people to rescue them, and the suit of armor is made out of your friends, but your best friend is your spear girlfriend.

Brandon Sanderson: the suit of armor is made out of your friends, but your best friend is your spear girlfriend

CharlestheHammer
Jun 26, 2011

YOU SAY MY POSTS ARE THE RAVINGS OF THE DUMBEST PERSON ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH BUT YOU YOURSELF ARE READING THEM. CURIOUS!


Ah so itís anime to people who donít actually watch anime, thatís what I thought.

scary ghost dog
Aug 5, 2007


CharlestheHammer posted:

Ah so itís anime to people who donít actually watch anime, thatís what I thought.

let me just post a clip from black clover https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vufF2VqzowI

scary ghost dog
Aug 5, 2007


and just to be clear, the main character of black clover isnt the pretty one that merges with his fairy girlfriend to power up. the main character is the one with the special black smoke emitting sword that eats magic

Barreft
Jul 21, 2014

A stallion like me only comes around once a year.

I still say for RoW:

Cut Venli
Eshonai Lives
More Adolin in that place
Merge Dawnshard in to replace a bunch of the Navani/other tired stuff.

I loved Dawnshard.

Tunicate
May 15, 2012





Also don't destroy Moash's personality between books.

Slanderer
May 6, 2007


scary ghost dog posted:

and just to be clear, the main character of black clover isnt the pretty one that merges with his fairy girlfriend to power up. the main character is the one with the special black smoke emitting sword that eats magic

lol

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

I'll split you open and I don't even like coconuts.


My biggest disappointment with RoW is that Kaladin doing Die Hard in the Urithru
could have been extremely cool, but it wasnt. There were things for him to do because of the three nodes, I guess, but he was so reluctant that when he did them he felt like a totally passive character. The time for refusing the call to adventure is long past for everyone on the Heroes Journey chart in this series but it keeps on happening because they gotta have a reason to refuse to say the words.

The pacing was just totally off in Kaladin's story. I wish Navani had given her gizmo to someone else, or that mastering its use would have had a bigger impact on Kaladin, but he just kinda practices with it, and gaining competence with it didn't seem to have an effect on his mood at all.

There isn't a character left who doesn't have some annoying aspect to their personality that makes them a chore to read.

BananaNutkins fucked around with this message at 01:26 on Aug 2, 2021

LeninVS
Nov 8, 2011



Did I miss a book? What happened to moash

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

I'll split you open and I don't even like coconuts.


LeninVS posted:

Did I miss a book? What happened to moash

He stops being a person and starts being an anime mid-boss.

Evil Fluffy
Jul 13, 2009

Scholars are some of the most pompous and pedantic people I've ever had the joy of meeting.

scary ghost dog posted:

and just to be clear, the main character of black clover isnt the pretty one that merges with his fairy girlfriend to power up. the main character is the one with the special black smoke emitting sword that eats magic

So is Dalinar the Wizard King or Yami?

Torrannor
Apr 27, 2013

---FAGNER---
TEAM-MATE


BananaNutkins posted:

There isn't a character left who doesn't have some annoying aspect to their personality that makes them a chore to read.

Apart from "Navani doing science!" going on too long in RoW, I don't dislike any aspect of their personality. Likewise with Dalinar and Adolin.

And Jasnah's only annoying aspect is suffering from "protagonist of a back half book, gets too little screentime as a result".

Shalland and Kaladin definitely need to turn some kind of corner. They don't need to be cured of their mental health problems, but wallowing in them isn't good for the books.

Coquito Ergo Sum
Feb 9, 2021


BananaNutkins posted:

The problem with Sanderson's writing in Stormlight isn't that it's too detailed. It's that the details are all repeats. He's told us what a crem-encrusted wall looks like about forty times before the first book is over. There's a dance you have to do as an author between reminding the reader of the environment when they need it for immersion and only showing the details that are pertinent necessary for the scene. Sanderson's terrible at it, or maybe great at it if you're a 13 year old who needs constant reminding and clarification.

This is where he fails most as a prose writer, imo. He always chooses to write as clearly and possible without regard to structure variation and flow. Look at all the scenes in the book where every other sentence begins with someone's name. Most authors have trouble doing that in fight scenes when they're doing a play by play of each action, but Sanderson does it everywhere. There are a million times where a pronoun would serve so much better, but in a misguided attempt at clarity, it's,

Kaladin summoned his Sylsword. Kaladin then stepped forward, glowing brightly for the townspeople to see. "The Everstorm is coming," Kaladin said. "We should take shelter at once." Kaladin dismissed his Sylsword and breathed out a puff of Stormlight Kaladin had been holding in.

Yeah, the former editor in me screams when I read a lot of his passages. Some of the Stormlight books could easily have double-to-triple digits' worth of pages removed without sacrificing the author's vision just by cleaning up his language and repetition to read better. Shallan's inner monologue after she starts picking up multiple personalities stick out to me. "Shallan held the fork in her hand. Veil liked forks. Veil liked forks because they reminded Veil of sharpness, like a blade in the night. A blade in the night like Veil. Radiant was not fond of forks. Radiant thought forks looked like Chimgrims, the ungraceful antlered ungulates of the Shattered Plains. Radiant didn't like Chimgrims because their forked antlers reminded Radiant of forks, which she didn't like..."


I guess this is my way of saying that I finally finished Rhythm of War a few weeks ago and the last few pages of the thread had points I agree with I'm not sure how much of this is actually spoilers, but here I go:

-The start of the book felt like whiplash as while I realize that Brandon doesn't want to have the idea of "curing" people with emotional/mental health issues, I felt that Shallan rounded a corner in Oathbringer and that Rhythm forgot her progress and pushed her back around the corner. I was genuinely wondering if I was reading flashbacks for her sometimes.

-Shallan was nothing. I liked her in the first two books, but like I said before, I feel her arc has been inconsistent where it feels like Brandon keeps forgetting what happened in previous chapters.

-Adolin's story was my favorite. I felt like it was the perfect length on its own, but that the bloat of the rest of the characters hurt his arc because there's an absurdly long pause in his arc that lasts for hundreds of pages.

-Venli's arc was not great. I think Brandon believes that tension happens when he has characters walking around feeling worried, and that more worrying means more tension. Venli's arc feels like hundreds of pages of nothing at times. Her arc requiring pauses in other characters' chapters definitely feeds in to any critiques I have of those stories. Taking several slow-moving arcs and separating them using one, much bigger and slower-moving arc was not a great idea.

-I'm torn on Jasnah. I thought she was interesting in the first book, but I soured on her character later on when it felt like they ran into the Tyrion Lannister (from the show) trap of saying that she is so smart when you can actually poke holes in a lot of the unassailably "intelligent" things she says. That scene (I think it was in Oathbringer) where she talks about genociding the Parshmen sticks out. While Kaladin was right that it was a morally disgusting suggestion, it also bothered for some reason nobody in a room of military background spoke up and asked just how they were going to wipe out a race of people when the Alethi were struggling just to fight a small amount of Parshendi warriors in a desolate corner of the world. Rhythm has a sequence where she actually gets to see war first-hand and it seems like it takes her down a peg, but I wonder if it'll actually change anything in her before the next book starts fanboying over her again.

-Navani was fine. I liked her ending. Her arc was a little long, but it's compounded by Venli's chapters stretching out the rest of the book.

-The Cosmere stuff is lost on me unfortunately, so I think I may have missed out on a lot of the significance, there.



I read and watched a bunch of reviews before and after reading RoW, and they all gave it nothing but glowing praise, so I felt like kind of an rear end about my negativity until I saw this thread. Brandon is successful and productive yes, but if his editor is actually doing their job, then I would hate to see what the other drafts of RoW looked like.

Coquito Ergo Sum fucked around with this message at 13:54 on Aug 2, 2021

Leng
May 13, 2006

One song / Glory
One song before I go / Glory
One song to leave behind


No other road
No other way
No day but today


Coquito Ergo Sum posted:

I read and watched a bunch of reviews before and after reading RoW, and they all gave it nothing but glowing praise, so I felt like kind of an rear end about my negativity until I saw this thread. Brandon is successful and productive yes, but if his editor is actually doing their job, then I would hate to see what the other drafts of RoW looked like.

Sanderson already knew what the reception of RoW was gonna be. Also I'm gonna drop these quotes here:

Brandon Sanderson posted:

For alphas (my editorial team) I look for the strong criticism. For Betas, I want people who are partial to the work, as they represent the average fan. I do try to fill them with some people who are more casual fans, as opposed to only the hardcore.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Stormlight_Archive/comments/5p4ydj/oathbringer_spoilers_stormlight_three_update_6/dcof0ca/?context=3/

Brandon Sanderson posted:

you'll see in this book that though the Venli flashbacks are still interesting, they're not as compelling as ones like Dalinar's, since you basically know Venli's entire backstory by this point. Just not the details. There's not a lot to explore or reveal that I can't do just as easily in her mainline viewpoints.

...

In the original outlines, I hadn't intended to go into as much depth as I ended up doing with Eshonai/Venli in books two and three. I realized quickly into writing the series that I couldn't wait that long to humanize the Parshendi. So I put a lot of the mystery of their culture and their motives into books two and three.

That led me to deciding in this book to split the flashbacks between them, as I felt it added more variety to the flashbacks--as I had sacrificed some of the novelty that was originally going to distinguished the flashbacks for this book.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Stormlight_Archive/comments/iot5xa/rhythm_of_war_chapter_10_preview/g4nb2hb/?context=3

Brandon Sanderson posted:

One issue I've been having with the book is the flashbacks. I'm not 100% sure they'll work the way I planned them to. In that case, it's possible I will toss them and doing them from Venli's viewpoint instead. I'm excited to write more Eshonai, but there's a real chance that the viewpoints will feel like fluff, as Venli is the one who knew the secrets happening behind the scenes among the Listeners at the time.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Stormlight_Archive/comments/cvvs75/stormlight_book_4_update_5/

On the Venli POVs themselves:

Brandon Sanderson posted:

Venli doesn't see herself as a hero, nor is she interested in being one. Emotionally, she's not really about saying ideals. She feels she's the wrong person for whatever it is that has started to happen to her.

This means there's a different tone between her and the other characters. What she mostly wants is to find a way to escape the powder keg she's gotten herself into, and while she DOES want to make amends for things she's done, I wanted her to feel more "normal person trapped in a strange situation" in many ways than someone like Kaladin.

The fine line to walk here is that I didn't want her to come off petulant, or be too annoying. But I also didn't want her to come off as a gung-ho "let's be heroes" type. That's a delicate balance, because there's a danger because it's very easy for readers to resent her for not being as "on board" with the story as the other characters.

It was worth the risk, and the likelihood that some people will just plain not like her viewpoints, for me because I feel it adds variety of perspectives to the story. It's good to have someone who feels trapped, in over their head. Someone who doesn't know the "right" thing to do, and is a little less proactive as a result. I like how authentic her viewpoints feel because of that.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Stormlight_Archive/comments/it8b8z/read_rhythm_of_war_by_brandon_sanderson_chapter/g5ije4d/

What I really want to find (and can't source right now) is the quote where he says the beta readers gave him a whole bunch of feedback about how boring the Venli sequence was and how he had already made a lot of tonal changes to try and change that up. I think it might have been in that post RoW release interview with his editorial team

Fake edit: Aha! Found it, it's here - a few minutes of dicussion on Venli:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxV20CVtYJo#t=4447s

So yeah, Sanderson knows he didn't hit it out of the park with RoW, but still chalked the thing up to a learning exercise, then said something to the effect of "I fixed it as best as I could, but you'll have to tell me if it worked". Which is super admirable of him as an author, because so many other authors would have just been like:



Real edit: He's also 90% done on W&W4 The Lost Metal, and expects will finish it early next week (and will live tweet his progress when he's in that final stretch):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oY03mbon1Vg

Leng fucked around with this message at 00:09 on Aug 3, 2021

eke out
Feb 24, 2013



Leng posted:

So yeah, Sanderson knows he didn't hit it out of the park with RoW, but still chalked the thing up to a learning exercise, then said something to the effect of "I fixed it as best as I could, but you'll have to tell me if it worked". Which is super admirable of him as an author, because so many other authors would have just been like:

it's like the opposite of the GRRM approach to having created plot problems for yourself lol

"welp this is not working as well as i want so we'll try to clean it up as best we can for publishing and do better next time because it's not gonna delay us"

Coquito Ergo Sum
Feb 9, 2021


That's a fairly admirable stance for him to take. It's rough to have a story you want to tell just to receive the feedback that half of your readers don't want to hear a certain amount of it. The problem with Venli is even at the end, I don't really know what the point of her story was. I feel like the most I got out of her story was that she gave more impact to Raboniel's ending. I guess she'll be more important with some of the revelations at the end of RoW, but getting through all of her chapters is a big ask.

That sucks about Eshonai not being a planned death. I remember doing draft reads for authors around 2015-ish and thanks to Game of Thrones, everyone wanted characters to be under the constant threat of death or "otherwise there would be no stakes" and that was frustrating to have to witness.

Planning a five-book arc sounds difficult, since there aren't many series that run that long that ended in a way that was satisfying as any solid trilogy, so I respect that he's going at it with such diligence.

Leng
May 13, 2006

One song / Glory
One song before I go / Glory
One song to leave behind


No other road
No other way
No day but today


My other big disappointment with RoW was that for a book supposedly on Willshapers, we mainly got more Bondsmith stuff, and the only Willshaping that happened on screen did feel more expository than we've seen happening with the other powers. Like Way of King Szeth Lashings prologue level expository. Again, the Szeth prologue didn't bother me as much as it did some other readers, but the Willshaper stuff in RoW did, mainly because we were 4 massive books into the series and so already understood there are ten fundamental Surges and knew what the Willshaper Surges were, so we didn't really need that direct level of explanation. I kept waiting for reveals about the spren of stone that had been foreshadowed but didn't really get much of it.

Coquito Ergo Sum posted:

Planning a five-book arc sounds difficult, since there aren't many series that run that long that ended in a way that was satisfying as any solid trilogy, so I respect that he's going at it with such diligence.

Is now the time to tell you that the Stormlight Archive arc is planned to be TEN books? :v:

EDIT: more if you count the novellas that are coming in between each of them? Edgedancer, Dawnshard and whatever the Rock novella is gonna be, plus who knows what else?

Tunicate
May 15, 2012





It's two five book arcs which are supposed to be complete on their own and have a decade timegap between them.

Coquito Ergo Sum
Feb 9, 2021


Leng posted:

Is now the time to tell you that the Stormlight Archive arc is planned to be TEN books? :v:

EDIT: more if you count the novellas that are coming in between each of them? Edgedancer, Dawnshard and whatever the Rock novella is gonna be, plus who knows what else?

Tunicate posted:

It's two five book arcs which are supposed to be complete on their own and have a decade timegap between them.

That's what I was going for.

Torrannor
Apr 27, 2013

---FAGNER---
TEAM-MATE


The flashbacks can be a problem, or they can work really well. But looking forward, I think there is a greater chance of them being good. SA5 is Szeth's book, and hoo boy do I want to read Szeth flashbacks. More details of life in Shinovar, what do the Stone Shamans know, how did Szeth learn that the voidbringers would return, etc.? Sounds great to me, especially compared to getting the backstory of a character I don't care about at all.

As for the back half of the series, Shalash and Taln flashbacks are obviously something to look forward to, if the overlap isn't too big. What happened to Jasnah is also largely still a mystery, especially with the hints of some big tragedy happening to her in her youth, how she bonded with Ivory, and how she learned about the imminent desolation. I'm also really interested in Renarin flashbacks, especially since they hopefully also cover some parts of the "present" storyline that we didn't see from his perspective. He's done quite some things on the side that we only indirectly learn about later, and it would be nice to see this from his PoV.

Lift flashbacks on the other hand have the potential to repeat the Venli problem. An unfortunately large part of his fanbase doesn't care for her. But even as somebody who likes Lift, beyond learning what exactly happened between her and Cultivation, I don't imagine her backstory would super engaging. Except if perhaps Brandon drastically reduces the number of flashback chapters compared to the previous books.

Leng
May 13, 2006

One song / Glory
One song before I go / Glory
One song to leave behind


No other road
No other way
No day but today


Tunicate posted:

It's two five book arcs which are supposed to be complete on their own and have a decade timegap between them.

Coquito Ergo Sum posted:

That's what I was going for.

I get that, though I have a feeling that for plotting purposes, it's quite different from say, how he would've plotted Mistborn (first as a standalone, then as an expanded trilogy when the first one took off, then with W&W being a complete unplanned expansion into a quartet instead of a novella). Ten years is not so big a time jump (and the characters in the back five are already part of the events of the first five books) that I feel like the first five books would still be sort of required reading for the second five, otherwise you'll be missing a whole lot of context.

Leng posted:

Real edit: He's also 90% done on W&W4 The Lost Metal, and expects will finish it early next week (and will live tweet his progress when he's in that final stretch):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oY03mbon1Vg

Also the above status (which he literally published not long ago) is already outdated:

https://twitter.com/BrandSanderson/status/1422344399342604288

Torrannor
Apr 27, 2013

---FAGNER---
TEAM-MATE


It's still super sad that W&W4 doesn't come out until Christmas next year :(

Sab669
Sep 24, 2009



That far away? drat. I couldn't remember what he said last State of the Sanderson. I was thinking like summer-ish if he's virtually done with it. Is this just the first draft?

External Organs
Mar 3, 2006

A cheerful person, he is known as the king of vulgarities (cursing?)

Sab669 posted:

That far away? drat. I couldn't remember what he said last State of the Sanderson. I was thinking like summer-ish if he's virtually done with it. Is this just the first draft?

As I recall it's a publishing thing.

Kinda burnt out on cosmere so I'm not mad. Cytonic will be rad though. That's this fall right?

Sab669
Sep 24, 2009



November this year, yea. I'll probably read that but I'm not nearly as into his YA/non-Cosmere stuff.

Not sure if this is off-topic as this is the Book Barn, but do any of you listen to Intentionally Blank? I'm not huge on a lot of pop culture stuff that they talk about, namely super hero movies, but I like Brandon & Dan's banter.

Mordiceius
Nov 10, 2007

I was terrified at first, but I think I'm okay with it.



Sab669 posted:

November this year, yea. I'll probably read that but I'm not nearly as into his YA/non-Cosmere stuff.

Not sure if this is off-topic as this is the Book Barn, but do any of you listen to Intentionally Blank? I'm not huge on a lot of pop culture stuff that they talk about, namely super hero movies, but I like Brandon & Dan's banter.

I find some of their film opinions to be absolutely insane but theyíre a fun listen.

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Leng
May 13, 2006

One song / Glory
One song before I go / Glory
One song to leave behind


No other road
No other way
No day but today


Sab669 posted:

That far away? drat. I couldn't remember what he said last State of the Sanderson. I was thinking like summer-ish if he's virtually done with it. Is this just the first draft?

External Organs posted:

As I recall it's a publishing thing.

Yes, it's a first draft. He's got 4 more to go according to his normal process, before it's ready for publication.

Publishing, as I discovered from first hand personal experience this year, takes a helluva long time. Writing the book is quickest (and easiest) part of the process.

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