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Everything posted by ConfusedCow

  1. Still trying to get Brandon to send out book 4 early. I loved the response to my previous post Blackmail Theory: Lift's Gifts. Brandon send me book 4 or I'll just keep reading your books and talking about how much I like them. ... Do it. Blackmail Theory #2: Hoid's Holiday "Tell me what you know, Wit. (Jasnah) I once spent the better part of a year inside of a large stomach, being digested." (WOR Epilogue, 1094). Also there was a good find of a reference to Hoid in Edgedancer from Skaa, that has him winking at Lift and then jumping into a Marabethian Greatshell's mouth. So what was Hoid doing on holiday in a greatshell's stomach? Why did he chill out there for the better part of a year? Has he been eaten by more than one nightmarish crab creature? Hoid has the skills to hide without being digested, nor is he simply crazy no matter how he may sometimes act. I suggest that he is doing what he often does, searching for rare and powerful magical artifacts. In this case perfect gemstones. The greatshells must feed on all the things littering the floor of the reshi sea, lesser greatshells, the rotting carcases of the tai na, each other. The stomach of each must be littered with thousands of undigestable gemhearts, grisely trophies of past meals. Why bother? Hoid doesn't want wealth and he can pickpocket Shallan whenever he feels like it. He wants a perfect gemstone, so he can he capture an unmade (Sja-Anat?) and add to his ever growing collection of magical artifacts. Hoid gave Jasnah a valuable piece of information, while making it look like he was giving Jasnah a bit of useless nonsense, knowing that Jasnah would dismiss it because he's a clever boy. Brandon gave us a valuable piece of information, while making it look like he was giving us a bit of useless nonsense, knowing that we would dismiss it because he's a sadist of questionable parentage.
  2. And light with smaller wavelengths (ex. violet/ultraviolet light) has greater energy. So a void light sphere set to release the same amount of light as a storm light sphere for the same length of time has more energy and thus mass.
  3. I was initially disappointed by ROW too. I think mainly because I did not care at all about Venli's story or past. Venli thinks in her head this isn't fair and what have I done but she never acts on it, so it never feels real. I wish Venli had made some dramatic attempt at rebellion and failed. And then been tortured to hopelessness by Lezian and then 'rescued' Leshwi before being sent to spy on Rabonial. My favorite characters, Adolin, Shallan, Dalinar, Jasnah, Lift all seem to be off stage most of the books. I came around a lot when I realized that ROW is about Navani. Were I to give advice to Brandon, (which I am in no way qualified to do), I think it would have been better to write the flashbacks about Navani's life. We got a lot of Navani the scholar but not enough about Navani the person. I think Brandon should have delved deeper into Navani's rage about losing her son. Navani could have sent Kaladin into a reckless situation in search of vengeance. She could have been genuinely angry at him for not killing Moash. An early conflict would give their later joint heroics more weight. We should have learned more about Navani feelings with Dalinar. I would love to see some doubt in Navani about being with Dalinar. Why wasn't she with him years ago? Did she betray her son? Is Dalinar really a new man or is she going to end up like Evi? Navani's religion is important to her and she has set herself at odds with that. There should be some fallout to this. She should wonder if the gods are punishing her for trying to pry out their secrets, for her wayward heart. If we had got all this personal conflict and confusion, her struggle to figure it out, imposing order on the chaos, and rising to become a power in her own right would have been more impactful. Like imagine if Dalinar had simply walked out onto Thaylen field without struggling to remember the Rift and Evi or build the coalition. It would have seemed trite and gimmicky and been disappointing. Brandon understood this and tried to put it all in the prologue, but it was too much to hang on one scene. Anyway I think if you try to write Navani's inner struggles and her backstory in your head it makes ROW a much more interesting read.
  4. (IMO), The industrial revolution was driven by capitalism and colonialism. Capitalism and colonialism also create specific kinds of strife. "Strife leads to progress" sounds an awful lot like "poverty and wealth motivate labor" and "competition creates efficiency" and other capitalist slogans. I'm suspicious that strife leads to progress is a way of justifying strife. Kelsier was born into conflict, an endless, hopeless, horrible conflict. This business about strife and progress, about needing to compete with the other worlds. I feel like he misses the fight, like he needs it. He's a soldier who can't accept the peace. He must feel so alone, so out of place. Who is left who understands the skaa vs nobles, the horror of the lord ruler? So I'm left wondering whether "strife leads to progress" is an idea that Brandon really believes in. Or whether this is just Kelsier's damaged perspective on the world. There is some evidence in Brandon's other works, warbreaker, cytoverse, and stormlight that he has considered what causes progress from a lot of angles. On Roshar, There's frequent references to how Taln's sacrifice brings peace and progress, but in ROW Raboniel and Navani make enormous progress through conflict. We see the conflict drive progress in both the Nahel Bond and fabrial technology. In Warbreaker, Brandon almost claims that progress creates strife. A kind of central question in his works.
  5. Is it me or is the Lost Metal a bit raunchy and even puerile, exspecially when compared to Brandon's others works? I always thought Brandon was a bit uptight when compared to writers like Terry Goodkind, GRRM, Jordan and Rothfuss. It was nice to see him loosen his belt a bit. I imagine him wearing a sailor's hat to get into Wayne's mind.
  6. Does strife produce innovation? Aren't peace, plenty and partnership as likely to produce advancement as hatred, hardship and horror? I'd be interested if anybody with a history of science background could chime in as to what the historical record tells us.
  7. If you swallowed say three beads of lerasium and some duralumin and then you used a spike to burn the duralumin, what would happen?
  8. Igneous, probably intrusive, given Brandon's comments about minimal volcanic activity. Has Roshar even been around long enough to form deep layers of sedimentary rock? Given the ecology, however, I do expect layers of limestone and with the steel weaponry at least some banded ironstone formations.
  9. So my theory is that Renarin is the son of Gavilar and Evi. This is more plausible than it originally sounds. We know Gavilar was horrible and oung ummm ... 'inattentive' in his relationship with Navani. Gavilar is a man of arrogance and power. He is a man who wants everything and takes it. I feel sure that he had affairs. Simultaneously we know that Evi was spending large chunks of time back in Kholinar without Dalinar. We also know that Evi was somewhat repulsed by the Blackthorn. It is not hard to imagine that Gavilar would be looking for an affair with someone young and beautiful, perhaps a bit naive and vulnerable. All the better that Evi was supposed to be with Dalinar. What better revenge for Dalinar and Navani's 'flirtations'? Evi on the other hand might be taken in by someone cultured and 'kind', someone offering her refuge and protection in the storm that is Alethi court. Evi seems like a very honest and honorable person in the books. We all love her. We see her from Dalinar's memory though. People are rarely totally good. Her drive to be a good wife, could as easily be guilt as a sense of duty or love. Renarin more like Gavilar than Dalinar. He keeps secrets. He's clever. He's refined. He acts with consideration in almost kingly way. This twist would have some beautiful parrallels. We rejoice in Navani and Dalinar together and then we feel betrayed by the fact that Evi and Gavliar got together. We could see in Adolin's conflict with Renarin, the old conflict between Gavilar and Dalinar. Could Adolin or Jasnah accept Renarin as king? What would it do to Dalinar to learn that Evi had betrayed him? Would Dalinar still see humanity as worth saving? Still textual evidence is pretty light. Evi did spend a lot of time in Kholinar raising Renarin up. She was eager to tell Dalinar, "you have two sons". I will admit that I was listening to a Game of Thrones audiobook when this idea struck. This is more GRRM. I would love it if anyone has evidence to support or disprove this theory.
  10. Well that was 30 minutes I won't get back. Fair point
  11. I have theorized that the plane of Shadesmar cannot form a map (I think the math term is bijection) to a sphere. There must be a missing point, a point on the surface of Roshar that has no corresponding point in Shadesmar. A typical mapping for example involves drawing a line from the top of a sphere resting on the 'origin' of the plane to every point on the plane. Each line will intersect the sphere once and form a 1-1 correspondence between each point on the sphere and the plane except the point at the top of the sphere. This point at the top is sometimes thought of as the point corresponding to infinity. I believe the origin on Roshar to be this point that does not connect to Shadesmar. Instead it connects straight to the spiritual realm and thus is the source of infinite investiture.
  12. We have been focused on Kaladin's strengths. Perhaps Kaladin's weaknesses are more relevant. Kaladin's depression is about giving up, choosing not to live, not to care, not to feel. Maybe the fifth ideal is about choosing to live for his friends rather than die for them.
  13. Does anyone else ever think about the Radiant Ideals when you're trying to decide what is right and wrong in real life? I sometimes wish Brandon would tell the rest of the ideals not out of curiosity about the books but because I genuinely wish I had some more guidance in life. I wish I knew which order of Knight Radiants Brandon would place himself in. I wish I knew what philosophy Brandon really believes.
  14. A problem with religion (IMO), is that faith obscures belief. To take up any banner of ideology or religion is to surrender an element of individuality. Brandon has clearly considered many different points of view on morality. Characters like Szeth, Taravangian, and Jasnah express absolutism, utilitarianism, atheism, etc... so starkly and yet so humanly. The characters who are lost and searching for morality, Dalinar, Kaladin, Shallan end up being our guides. The authenticity and diversity of belief in Brandon's writing and the way that he centers protagonists who are not espousing morality but searching for it, sets his work apart from other epic fiction. His books are as he would say about "the hearts and minds of men". One does not consider morality and philosophy so deeply if one already has all the answers. I believe Brandon wrestles with such questions himself. To answer simply that he belongs to LDS Church and their beliefs are his, is (IMO) to gloss over the fact that he is creative, thoughful and conflicted on morality and philosophy. I am sure he counts himself among the faithful and views philosophy through the lens of the churches teachings. Yet, I believe his struggle and answers are unique.
  15. Assume for a moment you're the Ghostbloods after Gavilar's death. You want to keep tabs on the Kholins and the sons of honor; find out what they knew. You look to recruit someone in the Kholin's inner circle, someone with a penchant for assassination and spying, someone with a thirst for secrets, someone you know is hostile to your enemies. Assume for a moment you're Jasnah after Gavilar's death, your asking your assassin friends what happened, you're desperate for knowledge about shadesmar, you're desperate for answers in general. Maybe Jasnah found out about the Ghostbloods when researching her father, or through a mutual acquantince. Maybe the Ghostbloods sought her out. Either way they both would have wanted to work together. They wanted each others secrets. Jasnah was part of the Ghostbloods. This explains why Jasnah and the Ghostbloods have so much of the same information and objectives. This isn't randomly killing off the competition, Jasnah broke free. Perhaps she killed her handlers premptively. Perhaps the Ghostbloods struck first. The real question is, why did Jasnah quit the Ghostbloods? Jasnah has a utilitarian view of the world. I think she would be fine with most of the Ghostbloods activities. I think the only thing that would really turn her stomach is if she discovered that the Ghostbloods were a threat to her family or the world.
  16. Ever read the crab cannon from Hofstadter's GEB? What's weird to me though is how crabs are the most asymmetrical animal, one giant claw sticking out.
  17. And the plan is to use one submarine to search all the ocean depths for one burlap sack? All you're going to find is the Tai Na's bigger meaner cousin.
  18. At Thaylen City Odium threatens to kill a fused but doesn't. Why doesn't he kill any of the fused? Many of them are insane, dangerous, useless, and others are worse then useless. They are exhausted and rebelling against him, Leshwi, Rabonial in her own way. Why doesn't he make more fused as he intends to do to Dalinar? If Odium was optimizing his armies he would let go of worn souls and create new fused, based on merit or service. Odium is bound in some way. I believe he created something similar to the oath pact with the fused. Perhaps he promised that if they served him faithfully they would rule Roshar again. Perhaps creating more fused leaves him vulnerable in some way. What are the implications? Could Dalinar exploit this agreement? Destroy them by surrendering?
  19. The next secret announcement: Brandon is writing a new book! On paper! Readers can buy it in 'bookstores'. It will come out next year and pick up where his last book ended. Swag will be provided for all pirates. Boxes sold seperately.
  20. In my experience, paranoid people have secrets. We know Jasnah is ruthless. Jasnah would kill all the singers or all the heralds, depending on her mood. Nor is family safe. She is willing to spy on and kill her sister in law and almost kill her cousin. She has the intellect, the disposition towards deceit, the poise and the murderous brutality necessary to be a traitor. She also has an arrogance and certainty; a willingness to make grand moves, great sacrifices, if she believes them necessary. She knows things she isn't sharing with Dalinar. Has Jasnah made a concerted effort to stop Odium. Not in WOK or WOR, her recommendations about the parshmen could have been a cover. I think she knew they wouldn't be taken seriously. In Oathbreaker, she choose to spare Renarin. Pattern said "a traitor is". Perhaps she meant that Sja-anat was a traitor to Odium. We know Odium has been concerned about Sja-anat and her 'children'. We know Renarin helped bring down Rayse. Perhaps that was Sja-anat's plan and Jasnah went to stop it but decided not to. In Rhythm of War she spends most of it away from the fight, interrogating the Heralds, getting close to Wit, consolidating her power. Before the books we know she investigated her father's assassination. She could have discovered things about his plans, how he got access to voidlight. Why hasn't she shared that information with Dalinar? What does she want from the Heralds? What is she keeping from Hoid? All I mean to say is it's possible that she is a traitor. She would need some grand reason, the fate of the cosmere, a better Roshar, the promise she could found a dynasty. I could see her stepping into her father's shoes.
  21. We are depleting stores of water. I think that the true spren are supposed to naturally bond greatshells and elevate them to a final form.
  22. I think the recreance was radical environmentalism. Spren and stormlight are tied to the natural eco-system of roshar, the radiants were depleting them. They realized they were an invasive species and like the stormfather said "tried to protect the world".
  23. I want to discuss keteks, specifically their form. This thread is about my stylistic thoughts and some tools for writing keteks. There is already a great thread for sharing keteks, Keteks for All!, which includes lots of beautiful keteks and a few of my own. Keteks must read the same forward and backward (allowing for changes in verb form) and have a five part structure. Following these rules are difficult, but the point is not to just show how cleverly you can follow the rules. The structure creates contrasts and parallels. The first part is contrasted by the form to the fifth part. The fourth segment appears as a reflection of the second. The third part emerges as a central pivotal idea. Each ketek has simultaneously a sequential structure and a reflective structure which relate the different ideas. The idea of writing keteks is not to communicate despite the difficult form, but rather to use the form to communicate by taking advantage of the parallels, reflections and contrasts. This is done by maintaining the symmetric word structure while creating asymmetry in the meaning and parts. If you accept my opinion that the point of writing a ketek is to draw out contrasts, then we conclude that we should try to change the meaning of the parts of the ketek so that the ketek is not repetitive. To help, I have made a list of tools, ways of changing the meaning while preserving the structure. When I write a ketek and struggle with a particular part or idea, I go down this list to help me think of ways to fix the problem. 1) Word Order - This tool is forced upon us, but it is worth paying attention to which phrases create a much different meaning when inverted and which don't. (beautiful forests, leaves green with hidden glades) means pretty much the same thing as (glades hidden with green leaves, forests beautiful). I recommend looking for phrases which when inverted mean very different things. For example, (war of love) means something quite different than (love of war) or (children fear monsters) and (monsters fear children). 2) Punctuation - This is probably the most useful and versatile tool. You can completely alter the meaning of a phrase with punctuation. (Dying alone.) means a totally different thing than (dying... alone?) It is also possible to use punctuation to break up confusing inversions and make them more palatable to the reader. (I am hungry.) becomes the starwarsesque (hungry am I) but with some punctuation becomes (Hungry? Am I?). The inversion of word order involved in Keteks makes them confusing for the reader. It is easy to get lost in vague statements and confusing word orders. Readers will only work so hard to get your meaning. As a poet you have to use the punctuation to hold your readers' hand and reassure them. I dislike the practice of using slashes to delineate the five segments of your ketek. It feels choppy. Ideally, the five segments should be clear from the meaning and punctuation. 3) Adding Words - This tool is too often ignored. In writing a ketek I sometimes find that I have inverted a phrase which almost works. Consider this inversion, (In writing, I find peace, rarely, peace find I, writing in). Almost good, but it's too symetrical 'I find peace' and 'peace find I' are too alike, and the last phrase writing in doesn't make sense. To fix this I can add some words. (Silence! In writing, I find peace. Hauntingly rare, haunting peace found. I write in silence.) First, I wanted to add 'silence' to 'writing in' which made that phrase work. Then I used the exclamation mark to create a contrast in beginning. Shouting silence is always somewhat contradictory, which is a good thing in a ketek. I then tried to highlight the uncertain feeling of peace by adding the word 'haunting' to 'peace found'. The final ketek has symetric words but not symmetric meanings and phrase structure, which is the goal. The center word is like a free word you can add in, a blank scrabble tile, which you can use to fix a lot of problems. This process of adding words which fix some problem phrases but adds more has to be balanced by a pruning process. There is a risk of your ketek becoming too wordy and confusing, which will dilute the power of the contrasts created and burden your reader. 4) Verb forms - So altering verb forms is allowed in Keteks. This can be used to place the different parts of the Ketek at different times. In the first half (we are falling). In the second half (fallen are we). This change in tense is why many keteks have a sense of time and movement about them. I have also found switching to commands to be useful. (Bowed, Bow!) I think there is some question on what exactly is allowed. For example, Jasnah changes 'United' to 'Unity' and El changes 'knowledge' to 'knowing'. 'Unity' and 'knowledge' are not strictly speaking verbs. They are verbs turned into nouns, nominalisation I think it's called. This seems to be okay, only one part of the pair needs to be a proper verb. What does not show up in the examples given is an instance where the little words around the verb are changed, like in an infinitive. You cannot change 'knowing' into 'to know'. Nor can you change the form of adverbs (Quick run) should not be turned into (running quickly), no matter how tempting it is. Finally, I see no case where a verb is altered into its negation 'bind' to 'unbinding' is no good. I don't think we should be too hard or strict about the form. Brandon for example includes a Ketek by Allahn where 'Radiant' is turned into 'Radiants', which I would consider a mistake in the form. Such a strict art form would have different schools some looser, some stricter within it. Just remember the closer you stick to the form the more work it will do for you. 5) Context - The hardest and simplest tool. Words can change their meaning simply by what comes before and after them. Imagine a ketek where someone starts with an 'Ocean, quiet' and then moves on to discuss storm and loss before returning to the now 'quiet ocean'. They have been changed by the journey and the words might be similar but the ocean which began with feelings of peace, adventure and hope now is tinged with sadness, regret and uncertainty. This kind of change in meaning, is subtle and powerful and when done right masterful. This must be set up by the rest of the Ketek both in form and meaning. Waves, ocean, quiet beneath, resting. "Now sailors, We return!" I, only I, return. We sailors now rest beneath quiet ocean waves. So that's my list of ketek tools. I think in general authors should choose simple, concrete subjects for their keteks, making breakfast, trying to ask a girl to dance. In writing them avoid flowery language or imagery and do as much pruning as you can. This will make the final product easier to read and understand. The form itself will make you look articulate, clever and deep. I'm going to write some analysis of Brandon's keteks to show how to use the tools above in reading keteks. Finally, I'm a mathematician and a teacher, not an expert or the poetry police. You should take my opinions as just opinions and write what speaks to you. Thanks for reading. I hope this encourages people to write more keteks. I do really like the idea of them.
  24. He could regret his choices, see that he was wrong. I think he already does. What he can't do is undo what he did. He's redeemable but not forgivable. He can never again eat stew among friends. He might hope for a good death, to die trying to make ammends.
  25. Ivory is Jasnah's spren, my mistake. Some people have suggested Jasnah is utilitarian and logical. I see Jasnah as emotional. Consider how she treats Shallan. Not interested goodbye, I was so worried about you, I'll never forgive you, marry my cousin, alright let's practice note taking, congratulations sister. People can be both emotional and intelligent. Jasnah seems wildly out of control to me.