sheep

Illustrated SA Scenes & Characters

189 posts in this topic

On 12/09/2016 at 5:11 AM, Djarskublar said:

Nice art. Better than your usual fare, which is solid. Have an upvote.

I disagree that Kaladin was OOC there. He wanted to protect Dalinar. That extends to wanting to kill the only real threat to him. Sadeas has nothing on the Blackthorn in full force. Trickery like the Tower is the only way to beat Dalinar. That or send your Truthless assassin. Szeth was the only real and immediate danger to Dalinar at that point. Kaladin owes him a blood debt of one Shardblade. That was also the point in time where he was considering helping Moash with the plot. He was a lot... angrier at the time. I don't think it was off of him to say/think those things.

Thanks!  I've always wanted to be solid.  It's heaps better than liquid, and gas blows.  B)

I should clarify that what I meant was that I preferred the original ending to WoR where Kaladin kills Szeth with a hit to the spine to the new edited ending where Szeth is hit in a less vital point and "dies" when he hits the ground.  The original ending felt more in character, and the new one felt more OOC, especially as you pointed out, Szeth was a legitimate danger and an actual murderer compared to the unintentional murderer by negligence that Elhokar is.  There are many moments through the whole book where Kaladin says he wants to kill Szeth.  All of these were building up and foreshadowing Szeth getting killed by Kaladin.  

I won't say that Shallan doesn't have moments of plot convenience, and how everyone who didn't like her ends up respecting her by the end because she's clever, funny, unexpectedly honest, good at getting what she wants through personal charm or magic, or a combination of the above.  But Kaladin's sudden ability to learn how to change the direction of gravity was accelerated beyond disbelief to me.

Quote

For a moment, Kaladin thought he saw shadows of a world that was not, shadows of another place. And in that place, a distant sky with a sun enclosed, almost as if by a corridor of clouds.
There.
He made the direction of the wall become down.
Chapter 41, "Scars", Words of Radiance

When I first read it, I didn't know about all the whole Cosmere-verse stuff with the three realms, and I didn't recognise that Kaladin saw into the Cognitive Realm until much later.  But it was never explained in-story, and Kaladin didn't think about it again, so I felt unsatisfied by it.  It is likely that Kaladin will go to the Cognitive Realm again in the future books and my response will retroactively shift as a result, but as of now, his accelerated learning is a moment in the book when my reaction is like "Really?  Is that it???". :unsure: 

Your mileage may vary, of course.  

 

 

 

On 12/09/2016 at 7:07 AM, Rasarr said:

The moment I saw the garage band image, I've been chuckling :lol: For maximum being-pelted-with-fruits value, I nominate Rock to play bagpipes. The horror! 

On another note, that's yet another post full of great art. Adolin's expressions are comedy gold, but gah, the headband! The headband continues to be a fatal fashion accessory for Kaladin, as far as I'm concerned. ;)

With Urithiru, I suspect my "fat unicorn horn" concept is incorrect, mostly because of what you've noted - it doesn't look all that aesthetically pleasing, all things considered. I suspect the terraces might be partially, or even mostly hidden beneath the upper floor's ceiling, which would make the entire thing slightly less pyramid-like. Still, a helluva achievement for Roshar-level society. Makes me wonder how many generations of Radiants were involved in making the thing, or if it was something the Heralds or even Tanavast & Cultivation themselves constructed. 

I admit I'm going to disagree with you as to Kaladin, mostly for the same reasons Djarskublar stated. To each their own, I suppose, but I find him neither annoying nor implausible. 

I don't get the hate for Kaladin's headband.  Brandon Sanderson didn't like it, which is why Michael Whelan changed it for the cover of WoR, but I think it's pretty cool.  It reminds me of Rambo and also martial arts movies full of angsty young men trying to prove themselves to the world, so it fits Kaladin.  Is it too goofy looking or something?

Urithiru also had glass windows.

Quote

The flight of steps opened into a room that encompassed nearly the entire top floor of the tower city, and it shone with light through glass windows. Glass with no shutters or support, some of it facing east. How it survived highstorms Dalinar did not know, though lines of crem did streak it in places.
Chapter 89, "The Four", Words of Radiance

Everything is built on giant scale and flat glass windows are pretty difficult to make without industrial processes - in the old days they were made with lots of little panes set into a lead frame instead of big sheets of plate glass that modern skyscrapers have, so it must have been Soulcast.  If the Cosmere didn't have magic to explain things, I would have said ANCIENT ALIENS.

Kaladin's (and most characters') appeal differs from person to person.  I would have liked him more if I read his story when I was younger, but preferences change over time with life experience.  When I read about Kaladin being hotheaded and shooting himself in the foot because he acted without thinking, a part of me cringes.  It overshadows awesome moments he might have later on.  I think I just focus on the insignificant details too much.

 

 

 

On 12/09/2016 at 9:30 AM, Darkness Ascendant said:

I really like how you made the last one, It's a photo which you drew on right? Anyway, it works really well.
Also, do you use a grunge filter? Looks like you use one for textures

Yeah, it's a photo that I put some blurring filters on because I didn't want to draw all the gym equipment.  It gets tedious after three or four treadmills.  I blurred and used some pixel noise in the background, and painted the foreground and dumbbells to blend it with the cartoon character art.  

The grunge filter is some layered textures.  I used a parchment and a concrete texture set at low opacity, but you can find a lot of different ones that give a similar effect on google.  Sites that sell flooring tiles often have good high res photos of their products that you can layer on in Photoshop.  Like this one, for example.

 

 

 

On 14/09/2016 at 0:47 PM, maxal said:

One of my pet peeves is Adolin actually needs glasses... He can't read glyphs which are made of tiny lines on small pieces of paper held from afar. He can't even tell if they are numbers or words or how many glyphs there are. Obviously, he has had training which makes it dubious he would be so poor at such basic skills. My pet peeve has thus be Adolin sucks at glyphs reading because he can't see them properly... I mean there are several eye sight issues which would go completely unnoticed in a world where reading on boards isn't required, but would cause issue for tiny glyphs reading.

A pet peeve is something (usually small and insignificant) that annoys you personally.  I think you mean "head canon" there.  

Lirin and Renarin have glasses, which means Alethkar has optometrists or some basic oculists who are qualified to test eyesight and fit glasses to customers, if only in the big cities to rich people who can afford the service.  Which Adolin can.   So it is likely that Adolin doesn't have bad eyesight, or least not bad enough that he requires glasses to be able to function normally in his daily activities.  He might have mild hyperopia/farsightedness where things that are far away look normal, but close up is blurred.  But we will never know, because slice-of-life moments where Adolin goes to the optometrist, or Kaladin and Rock go grocery shopping at the commissary for the evening's dinner stew are charming and humanising but add nothing to the plot.

 

On 14/09/2016 at 0:47 PM, maxal said:

WoB are treacherous and you need to read the interviews as they come out to keep up with them. There are no research tools available and if I once made the suggestions all should be dumped at the same location, but it was too complicated and too time consuming to manage. 

A lot of WoB's that happen at conventions and signings only become fandom knowledge if someone records it or posts the answer here or on the Coppermind wiki or another site.  Not everyone is a Sharder, involved with the fan community, or bothers to copy down spoken answers into text to post online.  Finding WoB's is difficult because it only works if you know what you are looking for.  Many of them can be found in a Google search, if you know the keywords in the question, so if you've read it before, you can find it again.  It is the new or obscure information that is almost impossible to find.  I don't judge or dismisspeople who don't know information that isn't published in a book, but for the better known information that answers many repeatedly asked questions (Dalinar's Shardblade switch, was X character really Hoid, why doesn't Kaladin fix his forehead scar, does the Stick have magical powers) it would be good to have a place where this information can be read and sorted through.

Does it all come down to a difference in personality and attitudes?  I have no issues talking to people, or new people I have never met before.  It's kind of fun, but I know that 95% of these people aren't people I could maintain a long-term friendship with, and of the few that I can, long-term doesn't mean forever.  People change, and trying to maintain a relationship with someone you have less in common with than when you first met them is not that enjoyable when all you have to talk about is stuff you did a long time ago, when you liked one another more.  Sometimes you just have to let things go and downgrade a friendship to an acquaintanceship and make new friends.  Perhaps I am more blasé about relationships, but while it is disappointing when it happens, I don't consider it a rejection on the level of having my feelings stomped on and shredded.  I am more easy-going in nature, and you are more... intense.  If people have rejected you for some unknown reason, it might be because you can get emotionally invested in things and way more passionate than other people, so a casual conversation that started out as friendly turns into an unexpected heated discussion.  Not everyone wants their conversation to derail into a debate, and if you have very strong opinions, it may come off as aggressive or as if you are ignoring opposing opinions that might be equally valid.  The solution to that is to chill and not to take things personally, but then again it is the same sort of advice like "Just go outside and talk to people" that natural introverts get that doesn't help them much at all.  So another solution is to be more judicious with what you say and remember your audience.  A friendship involves one or more other people!

I don't know if that helped.  But if you can detach yourself from the negative emotions of rejection and try to figure out why people might like or dislike you, you could understand why things happened.  Even extroverted characters can be introspective and self-aware.

And now I think I am beginning to understand why people don't' see as much into Adolin's character as you.  True, hardcore extroverts are rare, because most people, including me, have a mix of both traits, and anyone who strays too close to either end is in the narrow bit of the bell curve, statistically.  Adolin's personality is taken at face value - he has friends, he likes hanging out with them, it's sad when they don't want to hang out with him.  And it isn't developed further unless it is to set him up as BFF's with Kaladin and Shallan.

I myself cannot even imagine being so extroverted that my whole identity is defined by what other people think of me.  Sure, I understand what crowd hype is, and to feel pleased when you have made a good impression on a large group of people who think of you as lively and interesting.  But I cannot comprehend a person who so deeply needs interaction with others that their life becomes meaningless without it, and I would not be the only person.  It is such an extreme that it would be like someone who is agoraphobic to the point where going outside gives them anxiety, and making eye contact with a late night supermarket  cashier sends them into a paranoid panic.  And if I am being honest here, it is something that few people relate to, like they don't relate to extreme extroversion.  That is why such characters are the side character of a cast ensemble in a TV show, like Joey from Friends or Barney from How I Met Your Mother.  It is a personality trait that could be explored, but in a supporting character, it doesn't take the overall narrative forward.

I totally understand the "book hangover" feeling when you finish a big series with a well-developed character cast and world and when you start a new one, you cannot help but compare and feel like it isn't as good as the last one, until you get fully immersed in the story (which may or may not happen).  If I only read the same few books, I would not have discovered other books as good or better than the old ones.  And I think it's better to return to an old favourite after a break where I read other books. I get a fresh enjoyment upon my return, and it stops me from being tired of the same character or character archetype.  You criticise underdog farmboys with magical swords for being repetitive plot device characters, but you prefer to read only extroverted protagonists.  It is not so different.:o

 

On 14/09/2016 at 0:47 PM, maxal said:

Malta was a very satisfying character development. I agree about the dragons: I never understood why the humans just didn't kill the vile selfish creatures right away, why they were doing their binding... Why the Fool wanted the Dragons to be back, what gain did this give society? None. I didn't read the last trilogy. I will, eventually but I am not in the mood for it right now.

I disliked the dragons and thought they were all selfish, manipulative lizards.  Which is cool, since many other fantasy stories portray them as majestic creatures you can't argue with, like beautiful vegetarian elves.  The dragons were useful in fighting off the invaders who did the Forging in the first trilogy, and it turned out that the Skill came from Elderling descendents, which is useful.  But I would rather live in a world with no magic if it meant there were no selfish dragons who do more harm than good.  So many stories are about magic returning to a mundane world (Westeros, for example), and it is rare that characters decide that magic is more trouble than it's worth and get rid of it.

Renarin would not have thought that Shallan is funny or witty.  In the Boots chapter in WoR, Shallan makes a joke about "vesture" and "virtue".  Renarin would have been silent for a minute to analyse (the habit of his that makes girls think he is awkward and unsettling) and then commented on how the two words are pronounced similarly but mean different things, and killed the moment.  I don't know if you read WoR in French or English, but it was not really funny to me because they're not that close when you say it aloud compared to how it looks on the page.  Renarin would not have responded to Shallan's teasing and baiting, and he has the patience and composure that Kaladin lacks.  I still think he and Shallan could have made a better long-term couple than Shallan and Kaladin, but it would take more work to set it up and sell it.  Obviously it won't go there since there's Adolin, but if Adolin carks it before SA5 :o, Shallan could be the Navani since Vorinism has a love of symmetry.

I loved the HP universe as a kid, but now I can see all the little holes in the world building.  This is where the trend of a more scientific approach to worldbuilding in fantasy has stepped into the niche for all those readers who want something more solid for their backstory - authors like Brandon who have so much extra detail that he spends hours at signings answering questions about it.  When I think about Harry Potter, it's kind of ridiculous that their economy runs off gold coins, and there is a rule of magic that says you can't create food from thin air, but you can take a tiny sliver of carrot and enlarge it until you have a carrot the size of a house.  But somehow the Weasleys are so poor that Ron only has a sad corned beef sandwich on the train, while Harry buys everything on the snack trolley. :rolleyes:

 

On 14/09/2016 at 0:47 PM, maxal said:

I love to rant on Kaladin mostly because so many readers think him such a relatable character, it makes me want to rant even harder, if it makes sense. Kaladin is the thick of the action because the author wants him to be. I agree he was the right choice to carry on the narrative of WoK, I will never dispute this. While I agree he was still the right character to still carry it into WoR, I felt he should not be the sole one going into book 3. I would never attempt to re-write WoK without Kaladin, it wouldn't work, but going into book 3, I do not see him as a requirement. Mind, he should still have a large role, but I do not think he should be the sole focus as the story keeps on growing mostly because he has gotten predictable and well, I find other characters more interesting to read about than him.

I like to rant on Kaladin because I like to rant. B)  I can take the rant to any and every character if I wanted, like Renarin or Navani or Shallan, and characters from other books and series and other authors.  I love ranting and I like rant reviews on Goodreads, because they're the most entertaining ones to read compared to the boring "This book was great, 5/5".  As long as it is done in a tongue-in-cheek and self-aware humourously sarcastic manner, it doesn't devolve into tiresome complaining where you have to point out, "If you hated it so much, why did you keep reading?".  It's a fine line to walk, and I like to keep practicing at it.  

I dislike Kaladin's narrative more than Kaladin the character.  Sure, his depression can be painful to read, but what I really am not fond of is all the bad things that happen to him to make him bounce from plot point to plot point like the pinball on the flippers of fate.  This is mostly a personal preference thing.  I did not like Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" for the same reason, because each book left me wondering what sort of bad things the author would force onto the poor orphans in this episode, and made me incredibly frustrated because their lawyer and guardian was made intentionally stupid so bad people could keep trying to steal their inheritance.  Sure it keeps the plot moving forward and characters going in a new direction, but it is only because the author keeps introducing freak accidents and sudden deaths of the one foster parent they actually liked.  And if it is only good things that the author gives instead, then you get Mary Sue characters common in wish fulfillment-heavy Asian light novel and web serial novels.  Gosh, I now realise I am probably very picky.  At least I have read widely enough to realise what I like or dislike about novels and can now pick the ones I know I will enjoy instead of attempting to slog through.

 

On 14/09/2016 at 0:47 PM, maxal said:

I think a lot of readers will agree the "not talking to one another" narrative ploy has gotten old: it isn't overly popular nowadays and many would think it lazy for an author to resort to it over and over again. Luckily, Brandon moved through his at a quick pace, so hopefully he is done with it now the Radiants are officially back. There are others I know whom would have make it drag for several more books. 

The longer the narrative buildup is, the more people expect in the eventual payoff.  And if the payoff is falls short, it colours the whole book and readers are disappointed, even if the rest of the story is well-written with compelling characters.  Brandon is pretty good at managing buildup and momentum to payoff, which makes reading his 1000 page doorstoppers easy to fly through, but sadly not every author is as good at this.  I have been disappointed a number of times in other series, but no matter how much I rant, I still think Brandon is one that guarantees satisfaction.  Except with the Reckoners trilogy, but let's just ignore that.

I thought you would have disliked Lirael since she is an obvious introvert who even tried to Honor Chasm herself.  She gets better, obviously, and is not so annoying once her dog tells her to stop whining and get over it, but it's pretty clear she's not a happy neurotypical standard protagonist.  That is why I enjoy Garth Nix books.  You get presented with what seems like a straightforward growing up story, then your expectations don't pan out, but the ending is still satisfying and bittersweet.  Sabriel never really rescued her father, after all.

Also the character from "Bloody Jack" wasn't a caricature as much as she was a victim of fate and circumstance.  The story would end after Book 2 if she got away with her crimes and settled down into obscurity.  But it became a cat and mouse situation where the author kept milking the series and making the protagonist go on the run like Valjean to Javert.  It wasn't just her extroversion and big mouth that was getting her into trouble, but rather eavesdroppers at the wrong place and wrong time that reported her, and other contrived situations like an accidental distinctive tattoo reveal.  You know, (in)convenient bad luck. :unsure:


Johnny Rico's actor has a rectangle head and he looks like Ken doll.  There, I said it. :o

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Art time

 

Elhokar and the Symbolheads

Quote

"I saw them in mirrors, in the corners of my eyes."
Chapter 80, "To Fight the Rain", Words of Radiance

 

Spoiler

Fantasy painting


This is based off the Elhokar character design I did a few pages ago.  The crown is the same one on the House Kholin glyphpair.  Elhokar wears a different glyphpair (I'm assuming it's his personal glyphpair) of a crown and a sword, which is what I put on the shoulder patch.

Quote

Eventually, they reached his personal complex, marked by fluttering blue banners with the glyphpair khokh and linil, the former drawn in the shape of a crown, the second forming a tower. Dalinar’s mother had drawn the original design, the same his signet ring bore, though Elhokar used a sword and crown instead.
Chapter 28, "Decision", Way of Kings

I wonder what they use signet rings for when it's the women who read and write all the messages.  In the old days of Earth history, people used wax and signet stamps so they knew if other people were tampering with their mail when the letters arrived with the seals broken, but in Roshar, they have spanreeds linked to one other fabrial pen, and personal code passwords to authenticate users.  

 

Detail

Spoiler

2fLz6e7.jpg

If you watch scary movies, they always have a jump scare when someone has a bathroom cabinet over the sink with a mirror that opens and closes.  This drawing was inspired by that.  

 

Process

Spoiler

U4818vk.jpg

 

 

Elhokar's Garden

Quote

“I say the boy is to be executed. What do you say of that?”
“I’d say that in attempting such a thing, you’d make an enemy of me, Elhokar.” Dalinar had grown tense.
The two stared at each other for a long moment. Finally, Elhokar turned away. “Prison.”
Chapter 58, "Never Again", Words of Radiance

 

Spoiler

Now with character art

I'm taking artistic liberties with the timeline, but this is the time in between the 4:1 duel and Kaladin getting released from prison, where Elhokar sulks about how cool Kaladin is and how it made him look bad.  I imagine that Elhokar likes to go to his fancy feast islands to drink alone and whinge about his first dahn privilege :lol: and how much his life sucks.  And then Dalinar comes to talk to him and Elhokar gets mad because "You're not my dad, you can't tell me what to do!".

 

Full image

DpARIYs.jpg

 

The Feast

Spoiler

Rough concept background


Rough concept sketch based on book description.

Quote

The feast basin had been flooded, turning it into a shallow artificial lake. Circular dining platforms rose like small stone islands in the water. The elaborate miniature landscape had been fabricated by the king’s Soulcasters, who had diverted the water from a nearby stream. It reminds me of Sela Tales, Dalinar thought as he crossed the first bridge. He’d visited that western region of Roshar during his youth. And the Purelake.
There were five islands, and the railings of the bridges connecting them were done in scrollwork so fine that after each feast, the railings had to be stowed away lest a highstorm ruin them. Tonight, flowers floated in the slow current. Periodically, a miniature boat—only a handspan wide—sailed past, bearing an infused gemstone.
Chapter 22, "Eyes, Hands, or Spheres?", Way of Kings

I drew the dining platforms as Asian style pagodas.  But I think they're too small because it should be able to fit a dining table and a quartet of musicians.  Still, I am happy with the overall aesthetic, which is supposed to be ostentatious and a obvious waste of a rich man's money.  Kind of like the old Victorian folly which is supposed to look cool rather than have some practical purpose.

 

 

Szeth the Assassin

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“Have you seen me?” the man asked with slurred speech. He laughed, then began to speak in gibberish, reaching for a wineskin. So it was drink after all. Szeth brushed by, continuing past a line of statues depicting the Ten Heralds from ancient Vorin theology. Jezerezeh, Ishi, Kelek, Talenelat. He counted off each one, and realized there were only nine here. One was conspicuously missing. Why had Shalash’s statue been removed? King Gavilar was said to be very devout in his Vorin worship. Too devout, by some people’s standards.

His instructions were clear. Kill the king, but be seen doing it.
Prologue, "To Kill", Way of Kings

 

Spoiler

o3h06af.jpg


This was me just messing around and experimenting with the aesthetic of Alethi interior design.  Soulcast buildings are made of solid pieces of stone and decorations have to be carved out of them, and because of highstorms, windows are weak points in the structure.  I've mostly drawn interiors to have big arches and columns because it is symmetrical and looks regal for the inside of a palace.

 

Detail

Spoiler

TbVKwZT.jpg


Costume design by Ben McSweeney.
I follow canon descriptions and illustrations where they exist, and Szeth had a chapter header picture in his interude PoV chapters.  The only time I disregard official description is when it is nothing like how I imagined it (Dalinar on the cover of WoK.  Actually I don't think Michael Whelan's covers are offical canon after all) or it would not be practical or time efficient or sanity retaining to do so, such as the Kholin glyphpair on the front and back of Kholin army uniforms.  In a painted piece, it looks really weird to copy-paste the vector file.  Drawing it manually looks much, much better, but it is not something you want to draw over and over unless you don't mind going Taln crazy.

 

 

 


Obligatory silly stuff

 


Kaladin Stormblessed and the Power of Rock

Quote

Glowing, brilliant, a Shardguitar emerged from the mist, vivid blue light shining from swirling patterns along its length.
Kaladin gasped a deep breath as if coming fully awake for the first time. The entire arena went black as the Stormlight in every spotlight down the length of the stage winked out.
For a moment, he stood in darkness.
Then Kaladin exploded with Light.
Chapter 84, "Perfect Pitch", Sounds of Radiance


 

Spoiler

r19Mgv9.jpg

So Kaladin on the flute was sad and pathetic.
You know what, let's throw away all attempts at realism and just crank the awesome up to 11 because why not.  Why bother to make sense if you could be awesome instead?  That's Kaladin. B)

KALADIN THE ROCKSTAR.

 

 

Oh, and he wears leather pants.

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Wow, that Elhokar with the symbolheads image gave me chills. I dare say effect accomplished. And then, of course, I saw Kaladin as rockstar and my mood did a solid 180 turn :lol: Awesome art, as always.

6 hours ago, sheep said:

I don't get the hate for Kaladin's headband.  Brandon Sanderson didn't like it, which is why Michael Whelan changed it for the cover of WoR, but I think it's pretty cool.  It reminds me of Rambo and also martial arts movies full of angsty young men trying to prove themselves to the world, so it fits Kaladin.  Is it too goofy looking or something?

In my case, I think it's mostly cringeworthy by association with the cover it's on. The headband itself is somewhat goofy, but it makes me cringe mostly because it reminds me of the entire cover and how Kaladin was, to quite some brilliant commenter whose name I cannot remember, "fondling a gemheart", and his face had the most "durrrr" expression I've ever seen. That was not a very good cover, IMO.

6 hours ago, sheep said:

Kaladin's (and most characters') appeal differs from person to person.  I would have liked him more if I read his story when I was younger, but preferences change over time with life experience.  When I read about Kaladin being hotheaded and shooting himself in the foot because he acted without thinking, a part of me cringes.  It overshadows awesome moments he might have later on. 

I admit, I do cringe as well when I see Kaladin acting like an idiot because of his own hot-headedness. Nevertheless, I still find myself liking him; perhaps because despite all the times he's being idiotic, he still manages to overcome this and move forward, character-wise; and he actually wants to move forward, whether or not he's dragging his feet or going in completely wrong direction alltogether. I like when characters develop - well, I'm pretty sure everyone likes that, so I suppose the question whether one likes or dislikes Kaladin hinges on whether or not one can tolarate him when he's still on the path towards that development. I admit, age could play part in that. I am somewhat close in age to Kaladin, so perhaps this is why I sympathize with him.

Re: Urithiru - this thing keeps on looking more and more like it was plucked from someplace like Dubai or Shanghai and put on Roshar. I bet it wouldn't look all that out of place in some Earth metropolis.

 

Edited by Rasarr
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I love seeing all these renderings of some of my favorite characters I agree with you the Stormlight Archives book is written so well that you can definitely picture it as a graphic novel inside your head when reading if  that makes sense haha.  For myself I have  pictured Jasnah as a mix between Olivia Wilde and Katy Perry I know that probably sounds ridiculous. I can never really put a face to Shallan but  I love redheads Im married to one one hahah.  The inside cover that was done of her is just amazing. Have you thought about doing warforum there's a severe lack of any of the parshindie (the listeners) artwork god a bunch that races name. 

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!!!

Shattering glass, sheep, I LOVE your renditions of the Bridge 4 garage band and Kaladin with the Shardguitar!! I seriously could not stop laughing for like five minutes straight when I saw Lopen with the triangle in his mouth. XD I also think the scifi AUs of Renarin, Kaladin, and Adolin are awesome. And daaaaaang, the mirror scene with Elhokar and the symbol-heads is super creepy, especially that haunted look in Elhokar's eyes.

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3 hours ago, sheep said:

Kaladin's (and most characters') appeal differs from person to person.  I would have liked him more if I read his story when I was younger, but preferences change over time with life experience.  When I read about Kaladin being hotheaded and shooting himself in the foot because he acted without thinking, a part of me cringes.  It overshadows awesome moments he might have later on.  I think I just focus on the insignificant details too much.

Even as a young reader, I think I would have preferred Adolin over Kaladin. After all, I did spend part of my teenage hood inventing potential story arcs where Boromir survived and became a main protagonist: I have never preferred Aragorn or Faramir and I was 13 years old when I first read LoTR. It is thus safe to say my personal preferences have not changed all that much, what changed is my level of tolerances towards a given set of tropes. I have gotten more picky and more eye-rolling as I got older. 

3 hours ago, sheep said:

A pet peeve is something (usually small and insignificant) that annoys you personally.  I think you mean "head canon" there.  

Lirin and Renarin have glasses, which means Alethkar has optometrists or some basic oculists who are qualified to test eyesight and fit glasses to customers, if only in the big cities to rich people who can afford the service.  Which Adolin can.   So it is likely that Adolin doesn't have bad eyesight, or least not bad enough that he requires glasses to be able to function normally in his daily activities.  He might have mild hyperopia/farsightedness where things that are far away look normal, but close up is blurred.  But we will never know, because slice-of-life moments where Adolin goes to the optometrist, or Kaladin and Rock go grocery shopping at the commissary for the evening's dinner stew are charming and humanising but add nothing to the plot.

Ah well I thought the term could be used both ways, so apologies here. 

I also have to specify while Alethkar has optometrists or at the very least enough basic knowledge to design glasses for the more needy, I doubt an annual trip to the eye doctor is something young lighteyes do, at all. In other words, in a world where children aren't required to read small characters on faraway boards, in a world where nobody needs to read street names while driving, the majority of the most minor eyesight issues would fall completely under the radar. Renarin most probably was blind enough it impacted his everyday life which made it obvious he needed those glasses. With Adolin I envision something much more mild. For instance, I have mild astigmatism and mild myopia: I go by without glasses most of the time, but as soon as I have to drive or read from afar, I put them one. I had never noticed my vision wasn't right until, at 16 years of age, I started to wonder why I seem to have so much trouble reading the school boards. I asked my parents to take me to the optometrist and I walked out with glasses, to wear whenever needing to but not at all time. It is thus Adolin could have a similar eye sight issues which would absolutely not be seen within his day to day functions, only when he tries to read glyphs, but since he decided he didn't care, he never add one and one together and figured out the reason he struggled so much wasn't because he is dumb, but because he just can't see them clearly enough to differentiate them properly.

I think it entirely plausible for the character to have such issue, but I agree it is highly unlikely the author will even go there. It could add to the plot though. For example, if the author wanted to draw a parallel in between Adolin and Renarin, having Adolin realizing he needs glasses right after having Renarin getting rid of his would increase the role reversal they are about to go through. While a seemingly insignificant plot point, it could add to the main narrative in such ways just as having Renarin train with Bridge 4 has currently served no purpose other than pleasing a few fans who loved the character.

4 hours ago, sheep said:

A lot of WoB's that happen at conventions and signings only become fandom knowledge if someone records it or posts the answer here or on the Coppermind wiki or another site.  Not everyone is a Sharder, involved with the fan community, or bothers to copy down spoken answers into text to post online.  Finding WoB's is difficult because it only works if you know what you are looking for.  Many of them can be found in a Google search, if you know the keywords in the question, so if you've read it before, you can find it again.  It is the new or obscure information that is almost impossible to find.  I don't judge or dismisspeople who don't know information that isn't published in a book, but for the better known information that answers many repeatedly asked questions (Dalinar's Shardblade switch, was X character really Hoid, why doesn't Kaladin fix his forehead scar, does the Stick have magical powers) it would be good to have a place where this information can be read and sorted through.

Does it all come down to a difference in personality and attitudes?  I have no issues talking to people, or new people I have never met before.  It's kind of fun, but I know that 95% of these people aren't people I could maintain a long-term friendship with, and of the few that I can, long-term doesn't mean forever.  People change, and trying to maintain a relationship with someone you have less in common with than when you first met them is not that enjoyable when all you have to talk about is stuff you did a long time ago, when you liked one another more.  Sometimes you just have to let things go and downgrade a friendship to an acquaintanceship and make new friends.  Perhaps I am more blasé about relationships, but while it is disappointing when it happens, I don't consider it a rejection on the level of having my feelings stomped on and shredded.  I am more easy-going in nature, and you are more... intense.  If people have rejected you for some unknown reason, it might be because you can get emotionally invested in things and way more passionate than other people, so a casual conversation that started out as friendly turns into an unexpected heated discussion.  Not everyone wants their conversation to derail into a debate, and if you have very strong opinions, it may come off as aggressive or as if you are ignoring opposing opinions that might be equally valid.  The solution to that is to chill and not to take things personally, but then again it is the same sort of advice like "Just go outside and talk to people" that natural introverts get that doesn't help them much at all.  So another solution is to be more judicious with what you say and remember your audience.  A friendship involves one or more other people!

I don't know if that helped.  But if you can detach yourself from the negative emotions of rejection and try to figure out why people might like or dislike you, you could understand why things happened.  Even extroverted characters can be introspective and self-aware.

And now I think I am beginning to understand why people don't' see as much into Adolin's character as you.  True, hardcore extroverts are rare, because most people, including me, have a mix of both traits, and anyone who strays too close to either end is in the narrow bit of the bell curve, statistically.  Adolin's personality is taken at face value - he has friends, he likes hanging out with them, it's sad when they don't want to hang out with him.  And it isn't developed further unless it is to set him up as BFF's with Kaladin and Shallan.

I myself cannot even imagine being so extroverted that my whole identity is defined by what other people think of me.  Sure, I understand what crowd hype is, and to feel pleased when you have made a good impression on a large group of people who think of you as lively and interesting.  But I cannot comprehend a person who so deeply needs interaction with others that their life becomes meaningless without it, and I would not be the only person.  It is such an extreme that it would be like someone who is agoraphobic to the point where going outside gives them anxiety, and making eye contact with a late night supermarket  cashier sends them into a paranoid panic.  And if I am being honest here, it is something that few people relate to, like they don't relate to extreme extroversion.  That is why such characters are the side character of a cast ensemble in a TV show, like Joey from Friends or Barney from How I Met Your Mother.  It is a personality trait that could be explored, but in a supporting character, it doesn't take the overall narrative forward.

I totally understand the "book hangover" feeling when you finish a big series with a well-developed character cast and world and when you start a new one, you cannot help but compare and feel like it isn't as good as the last one, until you get fully immersed in the story (which may or may not happen).  If I only read the same few books, I would not have discovered other books as good or better than the old ones.  And I think it's better to return to an old favourite after a break where I read other books. I get a fresh enjoyment upon my return, and it stops me from being tired of the same character or character archetype.  You criticise underdog farmboys with magical swords for being repetitive plot device characters, but you prefer to read only extroverted protagonists.  It is not so different.:o

If you have a valid, defined idea as to how WoB could/should be structured, then you can always contact the admins and see if they would be open to it. It often comes down as to whether or not someone is available to police it, sort it and actually make it available in a convenient way. It takes time and our admins all have other occupations: their time is limited. Still, you can ask and see what options are available and easily implementable. 

I'll put the following into spoilers because it is starting to sound too much like the Bad Day Thread.

Spoiler

 

It is slightly more complicated than I have given hints of. My life has been a long trail of either disappearing, lost, failed or broken down friendships. Obviously not all ended up in drama and not all equated to a "stomped heart" or "bruised feelings". Many merely vanish as they fail to pass the test of time or often I ended up being the one "extra" friend, the one who gets bumps out as life become more demanding, offering less opportunity for friendships. The one which has currently been bothering me is another matter entirely. It was my last friend, the only one I still had which has moved onto interests which does not include maintaining our friendship. It isn't we have nothing in common: we both have children within similar age range. This should be enough to entertain several conversations, this should be enough "stuff" to keep us going. Unfortunately, she has made her entire life solely revolve onto... hockey. Her entire world is focusing on hockey and her children playing hockey to the point where no other subject of conversation interests her. Maybe from her perspective she'd rather spend time with people sharing her passion. It may also be her decision, a decade ago, to quit working and her current day decision to not go back to it never, her serious negative prejudice against anything called a "day care" service has drawn a wedge in between us. It is hard to say, but while husband says I am better off without her, she was still my last friend. The only one I still had and now I have none. Oh I have tons of acquaintances, I talk to everyone, everyone knows me, but none is about to pan out into a real friendship. Sometimes, I just wished I had someone to talk to other than my husband whom is a great man, but seriously he can't be my husband, my friend and everything all at once: it is too much to ask from one person.

Reason why it happens? You've nailed them pretty easily... I am too... intense, too passionate, too opinionated which makes it very hard, for me, to know when to actually stop. There one thing sometimes referred to as the "extroverted bubble" or the "social bubble" where one ends up babbling endlessly, stuck into a bubble of happiness upon communicating while being completely blinded towards his/interlocutors annoyance and/or boredom. Even when aware of being stuck into such bubble, it is incredibly difficult to move out of it or to take a step back. The alternative usually is to quiet down and to the exact opposite which is not talking. Arguably, it doesn't work either as I come across as bored or downright unsocial, which I am not. I am therefore stuck alternating between the two poles which, understandably, does not give any worthy results. Perhaps your introverted analogy is sound: it is hard to go against our own selves for the sake of socialization.

I know all of what you say, I have known it for a long time, but in between knowing and actually being able to apply it, there is a whole world. Husband says I am much better at it than I used to be, but better is still not enough for most people. Developing new friendships as an adult is also very hard: most already have their circle of friends they have been entertaining since childhood. There is often no place for an additional friend. The other problem is I somewhat do not click with many people, even when I try talking to the other mothers, they usually take a step back when I tell them what I do for a living. I think I scare many people away :( This being said, it is getting harder to put "myself out there" for other people to judge, dismiss or downright reject. I have lost the count of the places where I have been kicked out, be it real-life or Internet. After a while, you just want to stop trying, for your own sake, to protect your own self. 

 

After the bout of melodrama... back to the main topic.

Thus, Adolin not being relatable enough, I have to flip back the argument. I do not think your reasoning stating the character falls too heavily into the extremes to be interesting to the masses holds on.

Kaladin is deeply depressed and has suffered so many tragedies, it is a given very few people will ever be able to relate to him. After all, the majority of individuals aren't depressive and while those who have experience depression enjoy the character, forces is to admit there are readers don't particularly relate to Kaladin. Of course, you could argue there are other aspect to Kaladin's character which can make readers relate to him, just as there are several aspects of Adolin's characters which can speak to others (loyalty, desire to do the right thing, pro-activeness, honorable, but not so much he allows evil to walk pass, etc).

Renarin is an autistic deeply introverted character who clearly sits into such an extreme corner not many readers are bond to relate to him, one way or another, and yet he is one of the author's favorite character. Strong extroverted individuals are just as rare as strong introverted ones: the bell curve goes both ways. If Adolin can't be relatable because he sits too close to one edge and should thus pass his turn into the realm of main protagonist, then by the same logic, Renarin should too.

Jasnah is defined as a woman who refuses romantic relationships: while there is a given representation of such individuals within society, they aren't the majority. I could even go much further. A lot of people are advocating for fantasy authors to include more LGBT characters, but the majority of readers aren't LGBT: could they possibly relate to such characters? The answer to those questions is thus stories have proven us readers do not need to personally relate to a given character to enjoy his/her story arc. Readers do not need to read themselves into a given character to find his/her story engaging. Characters such as Adolin are thus novelty, the opportunity to explore something different than fantasy has used us too. Instead of writing an Xieme version of the same decade old tropes, the author has the chance to write something else. 

Yes, there is an aspect of needing others regards to feel confident about himself built into Adolin's character. This may or may not have to do with extroversion (I do believe it is a mix of many factors which cause the issue to arise, not just one), but it is false to think nobody would ever relate to it. We live in the 21st century where social medias are rampant. A lot of younger people define their entire sense of self-worth base on the number of likes they get onto their profile. A lot of people give an unhealthy amount of attention towards what "others think of them": simply because fantasy authors have never broached the subject does not mean it does not exist. It has always been around, but Internet has made it blow out of proportion. If anything, Adolin's specific issues are extremely relatable to many readers and are only waiting to be written. Fantasy as a whole has always struggled to keep track with society evolution, always lagging behind: it tends to recycle the same tropes over and over again (the underdog, the farmboy with a sword, the long lost son, all tropes which call to readers desire to be "special"), to write the same main protagonists merely because everyone thinks readers can only relate to the same kind of characters. To state such thing is to put all fantasy readers into a same box... Is there anyone else who truly still believe fantasy readers all are bearded middle-aged single men still living in their mother's basement? This is one of the worst prejudice against fantasy readers. Fantasy readers come in all shapes and background: there is no predefined mold to enclose them all, so why always restrict yourself writing the same old characters on the basis the readers "wouldn't relate to them if their hardship were different"? Aren't we advocating for fantasy to become more mainstream? So why claim Adolin, as a character, does not work out because he sits on the wrong side of the bell curve? Aren't there characters who also sit on one edge of the same curve, but onto the opposite, which are used as main protagonists on a regular basis? Therefore how is it an argument which precludes Adolin from being used as a main protagonist? There are arguably several readers who don't relate at all to deep introversion, but authors do not shy form writing it, the opposite should be true as well.

Adolin has a story to be told and it is up to the author to make it an interesting one readers would love to read, even if they don't particularly feel for those specific issues. For instances, I don't relate to Shallan's issues, not at all, but it doesn't prevent me from enjoying the character. Adolin is a character who has struggled in developing relationships with his peers and women, despite being born with a winning package which certainly is relatable to many. After all, how many people have failed at making friends? Perhaps not all for the same reasons, but this specific trope is highly relatable, especially coming from a character who's issues aren't spelled out. Adolin does not fail because he is too introverted to talk to people, he fails because he doesn't control how he comes across to people: how many people have been awkward in public despite desperately wanting to fit in? Adolin also is a character which has struggled with honor, codes, rules and morality combined with his strong desire to protect those he loves. How many people would have killed Sadeas? How many people disliked Kaladin not having killed Szeth? Adolin speaks to those people because he does act, he puts himself out there, even if it isn't honorable, even if those aren't state of the art actions of a main protagonist, such as Kaladin, is going to do. All that makes him interesting, not uninteresting.

It is thus I certainly do think Adolin has the potential to be a relatable character who definitely has his own fanbase. The fact the author does not want to further explore him isn't because there is nothing to be written, it merely is because he author doesn't want to write what could be written here. It tackles personal preferences. The author prefers Renarin to Adolin, his prerogative, but it isn't tied to Adolin's potential as a relatable character because quite frankly, if this was the criteria for who gets to be a main protagonist, then needless to say the chosen line-up would be quite different . It all goes back to who the author wants to write and he doesn't want to write Adolin: it does not mean there is nothing of interest to be written or readers wouldn't enjoy reading it. There are enough readers who have come forward stating they wish to read more of Adolin: it should be sufficient to confirm the character has a strong potential among them.

On 9/18/2016 at 11:41 AM, sheep said:

I disliked the dragons and thought they were all selfish, manipulative lizards.  Which is cool, since many other fantasy stories portray them as majestic creatures you can't argue with, like beautiful vegetarian elves.  The dragons were useful in fighting off the invaders who did the Forging in the first trilogy, and it turned out that the Skill came from Elderling descendents, which is useful.  But I would rather live in a world with no magic if it meant there were no selfish dragons who do more harm than good.  So many stories are about magic returning to a mundane world (Westeros, for example), and it is rare that characters decide that magic is more trouble than it's worth and get rid of it.

Renarin would not have thought that Shallan is funny or witty.  In the Boots chapter in WoR, Shallan makes a joke about "vesture" and "virtue".  Renarin would have been silent for a minute to analyse (the habit of his that makes girls think he is awkward and unsettling) and then commented on how the two words are pronounced similarly but mean different things, and killed the moment.  I don't know if you read WoR in French or English, but it was not really funny to me because they're not that close when you say it aloud compared to how it looks on the page.  Renarin would not have responded to Shallan's teasing and baiting, and he has the patience and composure that Kaladin lacks.  I still think he and Shallan could have made a better long-term couple than Shallan and Kaladin, but it would take more work to set it up and sell it.  Obviously it won't go there since there's Adolin, but if Adolin carks it before SA5 :o, Shallan could be the Navani since Vorinism has a love of symmetry.

I loved the HP universe as a kid, but now I can see all the little holes in the world building.  This is where the trend of a more scientific approach to worldbuilding in fantasy has stepped into the niche for all those readers who want something more solid for their backstory - authors like Brandon who have so much extra detail that he spends hours at signings answering questions about it.  When I think about Harry Potter, it's kind of ridiculous that their economy runs off gold coins, and there is a rule of magic that says you can't create food from thin air, but you can take a tiny sliver of carrot and enlarge it until you have a carrot the size of a house.  But somehow the Weasleys are so poor that Ron only has a sad corned beef sandwich on the train, while Harry buys everything on the snack trolley. :rolleyes:

I hate dragons. Well, I love the idea of dragons, but I hate how condescending they often are towards humans. Their purpose generally is to introduce beings superiors to human and the screw the usual food chain by introducing creatures standing above humans. 

I read the books in English, but I rarely catch the puns. I am not big on word related humor, so I tend to ignore it and keep on reading. Arguably, I do agree Renarin would never get Shallan's humor, not the witty one or the low level one (poop joke). His habit of over-thinking everything which would clash with Shallan's more spontaneous personality. He's also not a very smiling individuals which is something she enjoys in Adolin. There is also the fact Shallan is a rather pro-active individual who never takes no for an answer, who always tries to make best with worst, who never gives up which is exactly the opposite behavior of Renarin who content himself in feeling useless accepting everything as an excuse to justify his feelings. Shallan would think Renarin has been given all the advantages in the world, but he threw them away because he only focused on the one he couldn't get. I also think she wouldn't have had the patience to deal with Renarin and Renarin wouldn't have had the straight-forwardness I presume Shallan needs. Agree it would have required some serious writing.

I read HP as a young adult and I thought the world was interesting. It was brain candy which I appreciated for this very quality as a time where I needed a mental break. It was fun an imaginative, but it isn't as deep, complicated and well-rounded of as a Brandon's novel. Rowling obviously didn't think everything through as Brandon would have had which led to several inconsistencies. The Weasleys are an inconsistency. They are portrayed as an incredibly gifted family which keeps on producing wizard geniuses, all prefects of their given years and yet none of them has managed to turn it into a worthy career. Molly is supposed to be a gifted witch and yet she is portrayed as the good nature housewife. Why hasn't she have a career outside her family? Wizard kids are sent to boarding school at the age of 11 and leave the household at 18. It is a non-sense to me the Weasleys were so poor.

On 9/18/2016 at 11:41 AM, sheep said:

I like to rant on Kaladin because I like to rant. B)  I can take the rant to any and every character if I wanted, like Renarin or Navani or Shallan, and characters from other books and series and other authors.  I love ranting and I like rant reviews on Goodreads, because they're the most entertaining ones to read compared to the boring "This book was great, 5/5".  As long as it is done in a tongue-in-cheek and self-aware humourously sarcastic manner, it doesn't devolve into tiresome complaining where you have to point out, "If you hated it so much, why did you keep reading?".  It's a fine line to walk, and I like to keep practicing at it.  

I dislike Kaladin's narrative more than Kaladin the character.  Sure, his depression can be painful to read, but what I really am not fond of is all the bad things that happen to him to make him bounce from plot point to plot point like the pinball on the flippers of fate.  This is mostly a personal preference thing.  I did not like Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" for the same reason, because each book left me wondering what sort of bad things the author would force onto the poor orphans in this episode, and made me incredibly frustrated because their lawyer and guardian was made intentionally stupid so bad people could keep trying to steal their inheritance.  Sure it keeps the plot moving forward and characters going in a new direction, but it is only because the author keeps introducing freak accidents and sudden deaths of the one foster parent they actually liked.  And if it is only good things that the author gives instead, then you get Mary Sue characters common in wish fulfillment-heavy Asian light novel and web serial novels.  Gosh, I now realise I am probably very picky.  At least I have read widely enough to realise what I like or dislike about novels and can now pick the ones I know I will enjoy instead of attempting to slog through.

I love to rant. The problem with ranting is do it with the wrong person and it escalate into negativeness or you get called out for ranting. It is fun to rant against Kaladin: he has had such the typical heroes journey, it has become too easy. I also love to read the negative reviews because I find they contain the most interesting information. There isn't much to catch into: "This was the best book I have ever read", but there is something to be glimpsed into the: "I didn't like it because...". And also a good rant is always entertaining to read, but agree the threshold is hard to figure out.

I do not dislike Kaladin's character and I enjoyed his main narrative when I first read it. It is the two and half years of discussion post-WoR and the numerous WoB which ruined it. I also didn't get many key elements upon my first read, I never understood he was depressive, but I did notice how drama seems to be incorporated into his arc for the sake of it. Agreed most of his arc happens because he is unlucky: each time something terrible can happen to him, it does. After two books of it, you kind of end up wishing for a change of focus.

It is normal to get more picky as we get older. Stuff which annoys me now didn't bother me just a few years ago.

On 9/18/2016 at 11:41 AM, sheep said:

The longer the narrative buildup is, the more people expect in the eventual payoff.  And if the payoff is falls short, it colours the whole book and readers are disappointed, even if the rest of the story is well-written with compelling characters.  Brandon is pretty good at managing buildup and momentum to payoff, which makes reading his 1000 page doorstoppers easy to fly through, but sadly not every author is as good at this.  I have been disappointed a number of times in other series, but no matter how much I rant, I still think Brandon is one that guarantees satisfaction.  Except with the Reckoners trilogy, but let's just ignore that.

I thought you would have disliked Lirael since she is an obvious introvert who even tried to Honor Chasm herself.  She gets better, obviously, and is not so annoying once her dog tells her to stop whining and get over it, but it's pretty clear she's not a happy neurotypical standard protagonist.  That is why I enjoy Garth Nix books.  You get presented with what seems like a straightforward growing up story, then your expectations don't pan out, but the ending is still satisfying and bittersweet.  Sabriel never really rescued her father, after all.

Also the character from "Bloody Jack" wasn't a caricature as much as she was a victim of fate and circumstance.  The story would end after Book 2 if she got away with her crimes and settled down into obscurity.  But it became a cat and mouse situation where the author kept milking the series and making the protagonist go on the run like Valjean to Javert.  It wasn't just her extroversion and big mouth that was getting her into trouble, but rather eavesdroppers at the wrong place and wrong time that reported her, and other contrived situations like an accidental distinctive tattoo reveal.  You know, (in)convenient bad luck. :unsure:


Johnny Rico's actor has a rectangle head and he looks like Ken doll.  There, I said it. :o

Robert Jordan sure was a master at uselessly prolonging a buildup to the point of when it finally get resolves, you don't care about it anymore. Brandon arguably is one of the best for this: the payoff is always worth it. The Reckoners were written to be teenager pulp fiction, but it misses the mark when it comes to character development. The author could have done better here, but his choice was to focus on the crowd pleasing action. This is a line Brandon often crosses: sabotaging characters development for the sake of action or turning them into mere action figures going from one scene to the other doesn't make for his best stories, IMHO.

I was initially bothered by how introverted Lirael was, but she turned out into a rather pro-active protagonist. Yes, she feels sorry for herself for not having the Sight, she feels left out, she feels "out of the family" and she does want to curl into a ball of self-pity, but she ultimately chooses to focus on perfecting her one skill. Her progress as a Charter mage was rather interesting and while she still didn't see it as a worthy replacement for her birthright, she still devotes her energy into it. All in all, this is what I appreciate about the character: her agency, her endeavors and her refusal to let go. Sure, she isn't my particular type of character (I do prefer Sameth), but it doesn't prevent me from enjoying her. The reveal was a tad predictable: I guessed early on she was Sabriel's sister but it was satisfying nonetheless.

Well, the story you talk about doesn't seem to be a good one... All protagonists can be either good or bad ones, no matter if they are extroverted and introverted. My rant is essentially why should extroverted main protagonists defacto be bad ones.

:lol::lol::lol: Ken doll head. And I also thought Denise Richard had a funny face :ph34r: Still I have good memories from this "classic" of the glorious 90s. At the time, it was considered rather good, but when you watch it today, you realize how bad it was. The book though is pretty boring.

I love rock band Kaladin. The Elhokar, the one with the shadows, is very good too. His expression is rather convincing. I have finally managed to start warming up to him, after spending two and a half years disliking him :ph34r:w

 

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On 9/18/2016 at 9:41 AM, sheep said:

Kaladin Stormblessed and the Power of Rock

Quote

Glowing, brilliant, a Shardguitar emerged from the mist, vivid blue light shining from swirling patterns along its length.
Kaladin gasped a deep breath as if coming fully awake for the first time. The entire arena went black as the Stormlight in every spotlight down the length of the stage winked out.
For a moment, he stood in darkness.
Then Kaladin exploded with Light.
Chapter 84, "Perfect Pitch", Sounds of Radiance

 

  Reveal hidden contents

r19Mgv9.jpg

So Kaladin on the flute was sad and pathetic.
You know what, let's throw away all attempts at realism and just crank the awesome up to 11 because why not.  Why bother to make sense if you could be awesome instead?  That's Kaladin. B)

Help! Surgeon! I'm dying of laughter!

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On 19/09/2016 at 8:13 AM, Rasarr said:

Wow, that Elhokar with the symbolheads image gave me chills. I dare say effect accomplished. And then, of course, I saw Kaladin as rockstar and my mood did a solid 180 turn :lol: Awesome art, as always.

In my case, I think it's mostly cringeworthy by association with the cover it's on. The headband itself is somewhat goofy, but it makes me cringe mostly because it reminds me of the entire cover and how Kaladin was, to quite some brilliant commenter whose name I cannot remember, "fondling a gemheart", and his face had the most "durrrr" expression I've ever seen. That was not a very good cover, IMO.

I think of hand-painted book covers as throwbacks to the cheap pulp sci-fi or fantasy paperbacks I used to read as a kid.  They're more charming and unintentionally hilarious rather than cringeworthy to me.  Sure, they can be cheesy and really really dumb, but there's some nostalgia appeal to them, especially when medieval fantasy or futuristic space characters have big puffy 80's hair on the women, and gelled curtain hair for the men.  Just look at this cover. 

Spoiler

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It's so crazy. :lol: The Wheel of Time series has the same cheesy covers.

Though to be fair, I get books for my eReader, so I don't have to publicly carry around these crazy covers that no one but me thinks is charming.  At least it's slightly better than the bad stock image photoshops that many teen novels get.


I wouldn't say I'm the old grump who yells at kids to get off the lawn or stop throwing cricket balls through the window, but the more fiction (books, movies, TV, etc) I consume, the less patience I have to tolerate blatant stupidity.  I can deal with some of it, if the work has other redeeming qualities, like other smarter characters, or the stupid character smartens up, but my dislike of it is mostly due to the fact that my tastes have changed over time.  

I used to like the cartoon series "Spongebob Squarepants" when I watched it as a kid, and thought it was hilarious.  But when I watch it as an adult, I don't enjoy it anymore, because the show runs off Spongebob and Patrick acting incredibly stupid and getting Squidward (the only sane character) into trouble.  Spongebob is on the extreme end of stupid character that Kaladin doesn't come close to, but both of them trigger my reaction to dislike.  It's hard to explain, but it pretty much comes down to factors that determine whether I enjoy a work of fiction changing over time.  When I was younger, a story ending where the main character gets the guy/girl and teaches the bratty football captain/cheerleader a lesson in humility was enough for me to enjoy it.  If I read the same story now, I would be rolling my eyes all the way through.  We all look for different things when we consume fiction, and we all get different things out of it.  I don't think any less of people who like Kaladin as a character, but his story arc doesn't create the same emotional response in me as it does for others.  I think he's still an interesting character, and I don't hate him, and that is why the art section down below is "Kaladin Time" this week.

 

 

On 19/09/2016 at 10:17 AM, bdoble97 said:

I love seeing all these renderings of some of my favorite characters I agree with you the Stormlight Archives book is written so well that you can definitely picture it as a graphic novel inside your head when reading if  that makes sense haha.  For myself I have  pictured Jasnah as a mix between Olivia Wilde and Katy Perry I know that probably sounds ridiculous. I can never really put a face to Shallan but  I love redheads Im married to one one hahah.  The inside cover that was done of her is just amazing. Have you thought about doing warforum there's a severe lack of any of the parshindie (the listeners) artwork god a bunch that races name. 

It isn't explicitly mentioned in the series, but the Alethi characters are brown skinned and dark-haired like Polynesians or south/southeast Asians, and ever since I read that WoB, it's hard for me to picture any Caucasian actor or celebrity as an Alethi.  My brain just doesn't compute.  

However, I've seen a few posts by people in the SA Tumblr community who think that Luke Pasqualino who played d'Artagnan in BBC's production of The Three Musketeers would make a decent Kaladin.

Spoiler

  Oe2cDC9.jpg

I've done a couple of Eshonai pieces scattered in the first few pages of this thread, if you are bothered to look for them.  I haven't done any proper Parshendi designs that show the differences between their different forms, since I've only drawn Eshonai and Shen/Rlain and they cover themselves up with Shardplate and uniform.  So far, I distinguish Warform Eshonai from Stormform Eshonai by glowing red eyes.

 

 

On 20/09/2016 at 4:10 PM, Sunbird said:

Shattering glass, sheep, I LOVE your renditions of the Bridge 4 garage band and Kaladin with the Shardguitar!! I seriously could not stop laughing for like five minutes straight when I saw Lopen with the triangle in his mouth. XD I also think the scifi AUs of Renarin, Kaladin, and Adolin are awesome. And daaaaaang, the mirror scene with Elhokar and the symbol-heads is super creepy, especially that haunted look in Elhokar's eyes.

Bridge Four being in a band was so weird for me to imagine that I tried to balance out the "this would never happen" weirdness with a dose of realisticness.  Lopen would be one of the few Bridge Four members who would willingly join the band, since he is the unofficial team mascot and comic relief.  But he is limited by what instruments he could play.

I enjoy reading lots of things so outside influences always show up in my art.  A lot of the silly stuff (and the serious stuff too) I do was inspired by other things I've seen or read, and I try to point them out in the text descriptions beneath the art.  Because the truth is that I am not really that creative or original as people think I am.  I am just good at melding inspirations into something new-ish.

 

 

On 21/09/2016 at 0:55 PM, maxal said:

I think it entirely plausible for the character to have such issue, but I agree it is highly unlikely the author will even go there. It could add to the plot though. For example, if the author wanted to draw a parallel in between Adolin and Renarin, having Adolin realizing he needs glasses right after having Renarin getting rid of his would increase the role reversal they are about to go through. While a seemingly insignificant plot point, it could add to the main narrative in such ways just as having Renarin train with Bridge 4 has currently served no purpose other than pleasing a few fans who loved the character.

As Adolin hasn't had enough vision difficulties to have impacted his daily life (he doesn't absolutely need to read when he has secretaries to do it for him, probably more of them than before since most of them are now widowed and in need of work) I don't see him getting the written version of the Breather Episode when there are more important things to worry about in Urithiru.  And whilst he can't read glyphs, and may or may not be near or farsighted, he isn't colourblind at least.  The wineshop menus label the wines by colour, so there's that.

If you ever want to take a break from epic fantasy, there is a genre called "slice of life" that focuses on the everyday activities of characters in a fantasy universe.  It's not highly dramatic, but sometimes it's good to read something where the fate of the world isn't at stake.  It's surprisingly nice to have a book where no one dies.  

 

On 21/09/2016 at 0:55 PM, maxal said:

I'll put the following into spoilers because it is starting to sound too much like the Bad Day Thread.

 

Spoiler

Your life story made me feel sad.  It is one thing to have friendships drift apart over time, because it happens to every single person as life moves on and their priorities and interests change over time, but it really really sucks when you are the type of person who puts great stock in maintaining close relationships, and to suddenly find out one day that it has become a superficial relationship and nothing substantial ... that's heartbreaking.  

It is easy for me to say that the solution to making new friendships without driving people away or causing them to think less of you is developing a balance and awareness of the people you talk to.  It's easier for people who tilt closer to introversion on the personality spectrum to take a step back and consider their audience and their audience's expectations for what makes a successful conversation.  I used to be a lot more socially blind when I was younger and  it made for socially awkward situations, but I got better after a lot of watching and analysing, often with people I noticed who were more awkward and disliked than myself.  People who meet new people for the first time don't want to feel interrogated or bombarded with information.  If you want to have a debate, you have to feel out who is receptive to it before engaging, because unless you know a person, saying things to purposefully draw a person into a debate looks aggressive and confrontational and potentially rude.  I make it sound so scientific and clinical, but neurotypical thought patterns that most people conform to have a lot in common from person to person; basic human nature is shared.  And sometimes you just have to try to think about the other people and put yourself in their shoes when you want to be liked and accepted by a community you want to join.

I will say that while your husband can't be friend circle and social group, at least you have him.  I know people who have similar thoughts about their lack of social interaction, and they don't have the support of a long-term partner or a partner at all. 

Something I have noticed about fantasy fiction (and other genres too) these days is the vocal movement of readers who thirst for and demand protagonists and settings to represent them, who reflect them in terms of identity, whether it be gender or race or sexuality or a combination of the above.  People want to see themselves in the books they read, they want to see protagonists struggling with similar conflicting circumstances, they want characters whose difficulties reflect their own.  It must be another weird personal quirk of mine, because most people want to read characters who are just like them, and I personally do not care.  I do not need to relate to a character in order to enjoy a story.  I don't need characters to be just like me.  In fact, if there was a character out there just like me, I probably wouldn't read it.  Because it would be so familiar as to be boring.

When it comes down to it, I read fiction for the escapism.  Everyone knows what their own life is like, but through fictional media can a person experience the alternatives.  So when I see people who complain that there are no protagonists that perfectly represent them, and that a series or the whole genre of contemporary fantasy sucks because of it, I think it's kind of silly.  I don't care who or what the protagonist is if the prose and plot are creative and well-written.  All the people who demand authors write relateable characters, and refuse to read stories where they are not, are missing out on really good books with original characters who might not be human or even alive.  Black Beauty and White Fang had great animal protagonists and Caves of Steel had a robot android MC.

Just to be clear, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with wanting a protagonist to be relateable, I'm just wondering when it became such a vital component of having an enjoyable reading experience.  It has never mattered that much to me; the real factor for what I consider a readable story is having a likeable protagonist, and other than that, I have never felt unsatisfied because I could not see myself in the character outside of the most basic human urges of securing life, love and the ability to pursue one's happiness.  So I have to wonder why it is so important to other people to have relateable characters when it has never been that important to me.  Am I the weird one?

The characters I do like to read are the pragmatic type, grey morality antiheroes or antivillains, mostly because they are nothing like me.  The choices they make and the actions they carry out are ones that I have never made, nor will I ever be placed in a situation where I have to, because their ethics and environment are nothing like modern day Earth.  That is what makes them interesting - they get to do all the things I will never do.  I am not overly disappointed that they are not so common as goody-goody protagonists, but it is a character type that I do enjoy reading if they happen to appear - they are mostly found in niche subgenres like grimdark or military fiction.  If you have trouble finding fantasy protagonists that are outside of the mainstream young male of modest means and supernaturally exceptional skill at sword fighting or underwater basket weaving, you should look outside of mainstream fantasy.  Mainstream fantasy is defined by what publishers think will sell to the masses, and what the masses want to buy.  

If you are disappointed by the route that the future SA books are taking, you might try to emotionally distance yourself from the series instead of focusing on the things  you want to happen but most likely won't happen, or are confirmed to never happen at all.  Focusing on it will only make the disappointment feel worse.  Reading fantasy should be for enjoyment, and you can't enjoy something if you are fixated on a story not being what you expected it to be, rather than enjoying it for what it is.  You have said in the past that if you had known that Adolin would only be a supporting character and never be promoted to main cast, you would not have gone so deep down the rabbit hole.  Well, it's not too late to un-rabbit-hole yourself and take a break and do other things.  It's a weird thing to say on an SA fansite, but it works for me, and so I don't get disappointed about how the series was supposed to be released at the rate of a new SA book every 2 years.

 

On 21/09/2016 at 0:55 PM, maxal said:

I hate dragons. Well, I love the idea of dragons, but I hate how condescending they often are towards humans. Their purpose generally is to introduce beings superiors to human and the screw the usual food chain by introducing creatures standing above humans. 

Dragons are the fantasy equivalent of the super hightech aliens of science fiction stories, who come and deliver a couple of beatdowns to teach puny humans some humility.  They tend to be plot devices thrown in to create a conflict and cause the humans to work together for a common goal.  So my opinion of dragons depends on how heavy handed the plot is (sometimes it's a moral lesson to respect nature) and how developed the worldbuilding is.  In a magical land where magic exists to make giant 20-tonne flying lizards ignore the laws of physics and aerodynamics, and there are people who go around saying they don't believe in dragons?  There better be a good reason for that.  :rolleyes:

I like word humour in fiction, and fantasy comedies too, but that is one of the rarest of subgenres.  What I do not like is bad puns and unfunny comedy, and that is most of Shallan's immature cringey toilet humour.  Kaladin's reaction to her jokes is a realistic reaction.  After Shallan tries to joke Kaladin before she takes his boots, his reaction is blank faced "what", more because it's not funny rather than not getting the joke.  I think if you looked deeper into it, and saw that Shallan really isn't funny but she tries anyway because she believes it makes her life marginally less sucky, it is surprisingly similar to Renarin being clearly unfit to be a soldier, but still going ahead with training.  Still, Renarin and Shallan would be a "earn your happy ending" style plot instead of a "meant for each other" plot.  While Brandon did okay with Vin/Elend or Rao/Sarene, I'm still not sold on any of the romance subplots of SA.  Mostly because Brandon has such a hands-off "interpret as you will" writing style when it comes to romance.  

The Harry Potter wizarding world economy is all sorts of nonsense.:lol:  Seemingly half of wizarding Britain works at the Ministry of Magic, so no wonder there are barely any worthy careers when wizards easily live to 150 years old.  Wizarding Britain has a population of 10,000, and they have 13 professional Quidditch teams, or 1 team to every 780 people.  Say a team is 7 players with 7 understudies, it means 1.82% of the British wizard population plays professional Quidditch.  Then you add in managers, referees, support staff, and then the number gets higher and even more ridiculous.  There are plenty of blogs and websites where fans poke holes in the worldbuilding logic.  If you have ever read the classic children's books Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and its sequel Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, it runs off the same crazy logic that requires you to not think too hard or you'll ruin the fun of the story.  The last book is actually self-aware enough that a character is shushed when he asks too many questions.

 

On 21/09/2016 at 0:55 PM, maxal said:

I love to rant. The problem with ranting is do it with the wrong person and it escalate into negativeness or you get called out for ranting. It is fun to rant against Kaladin: he has had such the typical heroes journey, it has become too easy. I also love to read the negative reviews because I find they contain the most interesting information. There isn't much to catch into: "This was the best book I have ever read", but there is something to be glimpsed into the: "I didn't like it because...". And also a good rant is always entertaining to read, but agree the threshold is hard to figure out.

If and when you rant, it is always good to put a notice saying "rant ahead, be warned".  That way people who don't like rant, or think rants are too negative when they involve a favourite character and they take it personally, can skip to the end or ignore the post.  On Goodreads, reviewers post a warning because some of them do use salty language, and that is not something everyone wants to see.  And the entertainment value of a review comes from how self-aware the writer is, because it is always more entertaining to see a bad book get roasted in a funny way than to read "it was the worst book ever", which is no better than the "best book ever" type reviews in terms of usefulness.  The line between a good rant and a bad rant is knowing the difference, and pointing out specific points of absurdity instead of being general and saying "the whole book was pure trash". 

What is about the WoB's that ruined Kaladin for you?  I didn't know he had clinical depression until I read a few discussion threads which mentioned it, but I'd noticed reading on my own that he was moody and emo most of the time.  I thought it was just an extension of his teenage edginess, since his mood swings were introduced as part of his character from the first flashbacks where his surly and sullen temperament was contrasted to Tien's happy personality.  It never crossed my mind that it was mental illness level depression.

 

On 21/09/2016 at 0:55 PM, maxal said:

Robert Jordan sure was a master at uselessly prolonging a buildup to the point of when it finally get resolves, you don't care about it anymore. Brandon arguably is one of the best for this: the payoff is always worth it. The Reckoners were written to be teenager pulp fiction, but it misses the mark when it comes to character development. The author could have done better here, but his choice was to focus on the crowd pleasing action. This is a line Brandon often crosses: sabotaging characters development for the sake of action or turning them into mere action figures going from one scene to the other doesn't make for his best stories, IMHO.

Long series with years and years between the first book and the last book's release are the worst at delivering a satisfying ending after years of speculation and hype.  There are a number of series that had the flattest endings when they had the potential to be so much better.  I read so many of them when I was younger, and I can barely remember the names of the books or who wrote them, but my lasting impression was how disappointing they were - that is how bad they are.  It is worse these days because a lot of publishers don't want standalone stories, they want authors to delivery a trilogy or they don't get a contract.  So it leads to filler, padding, inconsistent pacing, and unenjoyable story.  Reckoners is not that bad for a YA trilogy, but focus on the gimmick of "superpowers, one weakness" and action scenes overpowered the focus on the characters.  I remember picking up Calamity and when I read it, I realised I had forgotten who the heck Mizzy was and I didn't go back to Steelheart/Firefight because I didn't care at all.  


I really liked Lirael when I first read it, and on subsequent re-reads.  It is only recently that I realised why.  One of my favourite themes in fiction is when characters undergo a skill progression with applied hard work and perseverence.  No instant expertise (that is a massive NO), but skill acquired from practice or honed talent.  That is what I find satisfying and fulfilling in a character arc.  I liked the Old Kingdom series because no character stood out as annoyingly stupid.  If they behaved erratically, it was justified.  Yes, it's stupid for a villain to brag in front of the heroes, but it was established that Rogir was always vain and prideful.  I'm glad you liked Prince Sam, as I thought you would.  If you liked him, you might like Prince Khemri from Garth Nix's scifi standalone novel A Confusion of Princes.  The MC is not an introvert, he's a prince instead of an underdog hero, and also develops a sibling relationship if you like reading about that.  It's more space opera than hard sci-fi, which makes it more of a fantasy IN SPACE.

And all protagonists have the potential to be well or poorly written, whether they are introverted or extroverted or somewhere in between, depending on the skill of the author.  If an extrovert is annoying and develops a hatedom, it is not specifically because they are an extrovert, but because the author goofed somewhere.  In the series I was talking about, I hated the extroverted protagonist because the author was bad and kept throwing in random plot elements to keep the story going and draw out the tension (which made the last book in the series a disappointment) in a way that writing guidelines warn against.  If your plot gets boring, the last thing you should do is throw a ninja through the window to spice up some action, but that book was filled with it such contrived plots.  

I've been thinking about which books I've read had extroverted protagonists actually, and I don't think they are as rare as you make it out to be.  They're mostly in character-driven stories, and it is never explicitly mentioned that they are extroverts, and it is not focused on as a defining character trait as that makes a character one-dimensional, and most people are a mix of traits.  But it is not so impossible to find if you keep your standards relatively generous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Art Time

 

 

One Hundred Spheres

Quote

He walked to the side of the room, removing the black covering from the goblet lamp filled with diamond spheres. It lit the room immediately, blazing like a tiny sun.
“He left these to us,” Kal’s father said.
Kal started. “What?”
“You’re to be sent to Kharbranth when you turn sixteen.”
Chapter 16, "Cocooons", Way of Kings

 

Spoiler

Vi5c7v3.jpg


My favourite part about SA's magic system is how the investiture makes everything glow.  It means that everything is an opportunity to use some dramatic lighting that makes everything look like a Dutch golden age painting with high contrast symbolic sunbeams.  It sounds like such a trivial and silly reason to like a series (on the same level of watching the Transformers movie for a certain eye candy actress) but after fiddling with the light levels, a piece looks +5 with a cherry on top when it glows.

Young Kaladin is based on my "Kid Kal" character design a few pages ago.  I really like this one, because it's my attempt at portraying a Kaladin without his self-assured "I'm always right" attitude grates on me after a while.  It was interesting to convert my adult Kaladin design to a Kid Kal design, making them distinct and different, while still retaining the important and recognisable elements.  The skin and hair colouring is the same for both, but Kid Kal has shorter hair, rounder and larger eyes, and a softer looking face without the big ol' Chin of Justice that Adult Kaladin has.  It's the standard set of techniques that many cartoonists use to differentiate young characters from old ones.

 

Detail

Spoiler

BHpR5wt.jpg

You can see here that Kid Kal shares the big nose and no lips of my adult Kaladin design, and that he has the monolid Asian-ish eye fold thing.  I try to avoid making Kaladin look too pretty or too handsome, because I think his physical "appeal" and charisma qualities come from his being super serious, intense, and taller than most people around him.  

 

Process

Spoiler

sHY7Q1Y.jpg

Now you can see how a piece where the lighting hasn't been accounted for looks unfinished and rough compared to the final copy.  This is what makes digital works so much easier to learn to do compared to old master oil paintings.

 

 

 


Mother Davar

Quote

Shallan walked to the other corpse, the one facedown in the beautiful dress of blue and gold. Red hair spilled out in a pattern around the head.
Shallan knelt and rolled over her mother’s corpse, confronting a skull with burned-out eyes.
Chapter 88, "The Man Who Owned the Winds", Words of Radiance

 

Spoiler

FUxZtJB.jpg

I've wanted to do an illustration of this scene for a long time, but it's a massive massive spoiler.  To me, a Shardkilled corpse is one of the creepiest things to imagine, and I don't think any artist has ever drawn one, or drawn Shardkilled grey limbs.  I've always thought sclera contact lenses (those coloured contacts that cover up most of the eyeball, including all the iris and the white bits on the side, look it up) that actors in horror movies and cosplayers of demon characters use are some of the most unsettling special effects over (but they are really effective). 

 

Detail

Spoiler

tMwJQgI.jpg

In case someone points out:  Shardkilled corpses don't bleed, but there was blood from the other man in the room who was killed by Lin Davar.  Shallan at age 11 was too young to wear a safe sleeve, so her left hand being bare is canon compliant.  I think it was one of the later flashbacks at age 13 or 14 where Shallan is proud to wear her new first havah gifted by her father.

Again, Asian eyelids and Asian features but with Caucasian pale colouring this time.  

If you have ever watched The Lion King, the part where Simba tries to wake Mufasa up and says "Dad, please wake up, let's go home" gets me every single time.

 

 

Hearthstone

Quote

The objects of her attention were a set of icicle-like pendants of rock that had formed on the edges of the roof. Highstorms dropped stormwater, and stormwater carried crem. If left alone, crem eventually hardened into stone. Buildings grew stalactites, formed by stormwater slowly dripping from the eaves. You had to clean them off regularly, or risk weighing down the roof so much that it collapsed.
Chapter 25, "The Butcher", Way of Kings

 

Spoiler

u6OJSKd.jpg

Just some concept sketches of a small town in a lait.  I later checked and I got the houses wrong.  The roof is so long that the eaves almost touch the ground, like the old thatched peasant houses in medieval Russia and Finland which were designed to shed snow and be comfortable when snowed in for several weeks at a time.

The icicles make it look like Santa's elf village to an Earth person, but it's all made of dried mud.    


 

Hearthstone 2

Quote

“So,” Laral said, folding her arms. “What are you going to do? If your father tries to send you to Kharbranth? ... Kal, if you go to war and find a Shardblade, then you’d be a lighteyes…. I mean…Oh, this is useless.” She settled back, folding her arms even more tightly.
Chapter 16, "Cocoons", Way of Kings

 

Spoiler

pyVS8V9.jpg

Kal and Laral hang out and talk about life and try flirting when neither of them know what flirting actually is.  Some people think it would be cute if Kaladin and Laral got together in the end, but IMO, Kaladin was only into her because she was the only girl he really knew in town, and vice versa for her.  Kaladin is a massive grump, and Laral was not a cheerleader type like Tien and Shallan are, and I don't think she would be able to tolerate depressed Weepings Kaladin where his emo level goes past 9000.  

Still, childhood romance like the one in Bridge to Terabithia always guarantees an emotional response, and tragic romance is one of the best ways to tug on my heartstrings.  

 

Detail

Spoiler

9NMvQFz.jpg

 

 

 

Chouta Poster
...Basically a burrito in a cone.
Don't know why I did this, maybe because I realised I don't draw food items that often.

Spoiler

7EVAZXu.jpg

 

 

 

 

Obligatory Silly Stuff

Stormlight Archive: Graphic Novel Edition
Kaladin Stormblessed and the Road to Superhuman Powers
This is what SA would look like in a manga/comic book format.  While I used the frame style and shading of a manga volume, I cannot draw in an anime style (my attempts at such are just pathetic) so I set the text to read left to right like in a comic book page.  

 

Spoiler

KPbOyRB.jpg

 

This is a parody of a manga page from One Punch Man where the protagonist gets his superpowers from training really hard every day for years.  In this version, it's Kaladin the Bridgeleader, with Lopen, Rock, and Moash from left to right.

To continue the explanation of why I draw Kaladin the way I do, I tried to find a balance between youth and authority.  Kaladin is an adult and acts like a adult (most of the time), and is treated like an adult by his colleagues and superiors.  But it's also pointed out that he's also ridiculously young for his position, so my character design tries to balance this.  He's in charge, gets taken seriously, but he's not 35 years old (as some other artists have drawn him.  I get why they do it, because he is as jaded as a middle-aged divorcee, but it just doesn't work for me), and even if life has taken a dump on him, he's still only 20 years old in Roshar years.

It is also in-canon described that Alethi have black hair, but I never colour characters with straight black hair, usually brown in different shardes of dark.  This is an artistic choice because flat black doesn't show depth that well in paintings where you want to give an illusion of depth and atmosphere.  If you ever look at people who have black hair, their hair isn't a uniform flat black anyway.  The hairs are different shades from exposure to sunlight, so you will see a mix of dark brown.  In multipanel comics or sketches, drawing flat black is acceptable because they are intended to be only black and white for ease of printing, and the visuals come through contrast of line and negative space.


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Oh, that's another batch of really atmospheric pieces! I love the lightning in the "Hundred spheres" ones (and your rendition of Kal's father is just superb), and those black eyes on Shallan's mother... creepy. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the chouta poster looks like a deity coming down to earth in a nimbus of light ;)

 

1bfdmu.jpg

As for the last one... you know, in anime, those sound effect of shock! That's pretty much what I heard in my head when looking at this page of yours. :lol:

I won't be continuing talking about Kaladin - quite frankly, I don't have anything more to say - but I'd just like to note this:

2 hours ago, sheep said:

What I do not like is bad puns and unfunny comedy, and that is most of Shallan's immature cringey toilet humour.  Kaladin's reaction to her jokes is a realistic reaction.  After Shallan tries to joke Kaladin before she takes his boots, his reaction is blank faced "what", more because it's not funny rather than not getting the joke.

I agree with this so much. I've heard a lot of people saying she has a great sense of humour and her jokes are great, so I'd just like to say it's nice there are people who don't think so.

Edited by Rasarr
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On 28/09/2016 at 11:51 AM, sheep said:

I think of hand-painted book covers as throwbacks to the cheap pulp sci-fi or fantasy paperbacks I used to read as a kid.  They're more charming and unintentionally hilarious rather than cringeworthy to me.  Sure, they can be cheesy and really really dumb, but there's some nostalgia appeal to them, especially when medieval fantasy or futuristic space characters have big puffy 80's hair on the women, and gelled curtain hair for the men.  Just look at this cover. 

It's so crazy. :lol: The Wheel of Time series has the same cheesy covers.

Though to be fair, I get books for my eReader, so I don't have to publicly carry around these crazy covers that no one but me thinks is charming.  At least it's slightly better than the bad stock image photoshops that many teen novels get.

This got to be one of the worst book cover I have ever seen. Was the book any good?

On 28/09/2016 at 11:51 AM, sheep said:

As Adolin hasn't had enough vision difficulties to have impacted his daily life (he doesn't absolutely need to read when he has secretaries to do it for him, probably more of them than before since most of them are now widowed and in need of work) I don't see him getting the written version of the Breather Episode when there are more important things to worry about in Urithiru.  And whilst he can't read glyphs, and may or may not be near or farsighted, he isn't colourblind at least.  The wineshop menus label the wines by colour, so there's that.

If you ever want to take a break from epic fantasy, there is a genre called "slice of life" that focuses on the everyday activities of characters in a fantasy universe.  It's not highly dramatic, but sometimes it's good to read something where the fate of the world isn't at stake.  It's surprisingly nice to have a book where no one dies.  

I am in a disagreement with this as stories are inherently filled with breather episodes, short scenes which aren't related to the important events but serve as character building elements. For instance, we didn't need to read Kaladin going horseback ridding. It isn't relevant to any future crucial elements, but it helped humanized Kaladin by having us learn, despite being a powerful Radiant, he is afraid of horses. We also needed to see Kaladin try and fail at doing something. Seeing Adolin break down his perfect warrior boy image by putting on glasses and actually learning how to read those glyphs properly would serve a similar purpose.

I would also add because epic fantasy spreads over several thousand of pages, it does need the breather episodes every one in a while. They help the reader develop an attachment with the characters. Obviously, the one I am proposing is highly unlikely to happen, but I disagree such tiny "one chapter" arc have no room within the story as we have been getting them since the beginning.

On 28/09/2016 at 11:51 AM, sheep said:

Something I have noticed about fantasy fiction (and other genres too) these days is the vocal movement of readers who thirst for and demand protagonists and settings to represent them, who reflect them in terms of identity, whether it be gender or race or sexuality or a combination of the above.  People want to see themselves in the books they read, they want to see protagonists struggling with similar conflicting circumstances, they want characters whose difficulties reflect their own.  It must be another weird personal quirk of mine, because most people want to read characters who are just like them, and I personally do not care.  I do not need to relate to a character in order to enjoy a story.  I don't need characters to be just like me.  In fact, if there was a character out there just like me, I probably wouldn't read it.  Because it would be so familiar as to be boring.

When it comes down to it, I read fiction for the escapism.  Everyone knows what their own life is like, but through fictional media can a person experience the alternatives.  So when I see people who complain that there are no protagonists that perfectly represent them, and that a series or the whole genre of contemporary fantasy sucks because of it, I think it's kind of silly.  I don't care who or what the protagonist is if the prose and plot are creative and well-written.  All the people who demand authors write relateable characters, and refuse to read stories where they are not, are missing out on really good books with original characters who might not be human or even alive.  Black Beauty and White Fang had great animal protagonists and Caves of Steel had a robot android MC.

Just to be clear, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with wanting a protagonist to be relateable, I'm just wondering when it became such a vital component of having an enjoyable reading experience.  It has never mattered that much to me; the real factor for what I consider a readable story is having a likeable protagonist, and other than that, I have never felt unsatisfied because I could not see myself in the character outside of the most basic human urges of securing life, love and the ability to pursue one's happiness.  So I have to wonder why it is so important to other people to have relateable characters when it has never been that important to me.  Am I the weird one?

The characters I do like to read are the pragmatic type, grey morality antiheroes or antivillains, mostly because they are nothing like me.  The choices they make and the actions they carry out are ones that I have never made, nor will I ever be placed in a situation where I have to, because their ethics and environment are nothing like modern day Earth.  That is what makes them interesting - they get to do all the things I will never do.  I am not overly disappointed that they are not so common as goody-goody protagonists, but it is a character type that I do enjoy reading if they happen to appear - they are mostly found in niche subgenres like grimdark or military fiction.  If you have trouble finding fantasy protagonists that are outside of the mainstream young male of modest means and supernaturally exceptional skill at sword fighting or underwater basket weaving, you should look outside of mainstream fantasy.  Mainstream fantasy is defined by what publishers think will sell to the masses, and what the masses want to buy.  

If you are disappointed by the route that the future SA books are taking, you might try to emotionally distance yourself from the series instead of focusing on the things  you want to happen but most likely won't happen, or are confirmed to never happen at all.  Focusing on it will only make the disappointment feel worse.  Reading fantasy should be for enjoyment, and you can't enjoy something if you are fixated on a story not being what you expected it to be, rather than enjoying it for what it is.  You have said in the past that if you had known that Adolin would only be a supporting character and never be promoted to main cast, you would not have gone so deep down the rabbit hole.  Well, it's not too late to un-rabbit-hole yourself and take a break and do other things.  It's a weird thing to say on an SA fansite, but it works for me, and so I don't get disappointed about how the series was supposed to be released at the rate of a new SA book every 2 years.


Everyone wants to be the hero of his/her story and when some individual struggles to get control over theirs, they might look for inspiration elsewhere. The other truth is there are quite a lot of people whom, for a reason or another, feel they don't quite belong. They feel they don't fit within the crowd, any crowd and it makes them look out for others, for people who'd be more like them, people to relate to, people who'd be able to tell their story life in a more compelling way. To be fair, I doubt many individual pick up any given book with the firm intention to relate to one of the character. It just happens and, based on my personal experience, it happens when you expect it the least. 

You say how a character being too similar to you would be boring to read... It is different for other people. There are people for whom seeing their own flaws or hardships being carried away by an imaginary character helps them getting distance, a second glance, closure even. It is a proven psychological approach, at least it is with children: you have them play at pretending in order to help them work on a particularly hard lesson for them or you have them watch puppets mimicking them. I call it finding third person's perspective onto yourself. There also are people who just always had a hard time getting sympathy or empathy, so reading a character and, more importantly, having others understand this character gives them hope onto themselves.

All of this to say it is hard to gauge why some readers latch onto characters they particularly relate to while others don't. It may be others have not have the need for closure onto anything just yet or it may be they haven't moved into a phase of their life where they feel they need inspiration or maybe their escapism mechanism is just different. We are all looking for our answers in different places: I have seen many travelling all across the world back and forth looking for them, never being happy lingering anywhere for too long. I have seen some literally run away from here to go there. I have no such need, but perhaps I am looking for something and perhaps those characters do help getting perspective. However, if you ask me what I am getting out of it, I would answer: a story. I get a story I find compelling and interesting enough to fuel my own personal imagination. Escapism is being able to forget about every day life routine, stress and never ending turning wheel and stories which manages to move beyond something I merely enjoyed reading to something I enjoy speculating on are true life safer. Forgetting those infernal orange cones are creating yet another unwelcome delay or learning this horrid detour will be in place until 2019 which would both honestly try out the patience of a rock is a true life saver. You ask why I bother with the fandom while being apparently so unsatisfied with how the story is predicted to evolve? I do it because it gives me something to think about other than pestering about all of those little things which seemed to have morphed into a mountain, it helps me shrink them down to something I can actually manage. The other truth is, when one ends up feeling they have become a puppet inside their own life, the idea of someone resembling them being a hero may be childish, but refreshingly interesting to read.

Besides, do we ever get too old to dream? I sure hope not.

So while it would probably be best to retreat from the SA fandom and leave it to others to speculate about, what would I be spending my free time thinking about? Another book? I haven't find it yet, I am still looking out. 

On 28/09/2016 at 11:51 AM, sheep said:

Dragons are the fantasy equivalent of the super hightech aliens of science fiction stories, who come and deliver a couple of beatdowns to teach puny humans some humility.  They tend to be plot devices thrown in to create a conflict and cause the humans to work together for a common goal.  So my opinion of dragons depends on how heavy handed the plot is (sometimes it's a moral lesson to respect nature) and how developed the worldbuilding is.  In a magical land where magic exists to make giant 20-tonne flying lizards ignore the laws of physics and aerodynamics, and there are people who go around saying they don't believe in dragons?  There better be a good reason for that.  :rolleyes:

I like word humour in fiction, and fantasy comedies too, but that is one of the rarest of subgenres.  What I do not like is bad puns and unfunny comedy, and that is most of Shallan's immature cringey toilet humour.  Kaladin's reaction to her jokes is a realistic reaction.  After Shallan tries to joke Kaladin before she takes his boots, his reaction is blank faced "what", more because it's not funny rather than not getting the joke.  I think if you looked deeper into it, and saw that Shallan really isn't funny but she tries anyway because she believes it makes her life marginally less sucky, it is surprisingly similar to Renarin being clearly unfit to be a soldier, but still going ahead with training.  Still, Renarin and Shallan would be a "earn your happy ending" style plot instead of a "meant for each other" plot.  While Brandon did okay with Vin/Elend or Rao/Sarene, I'm still not sold on any of the romance subplots of SA.  Mostly because Brandon has such a hands-off "interpret as you will" writing style when it comes to romance.  

The Harry Potter wizarding world economy is all sorts of nonsense.:lol:  Seemingly half of wizarding Britain works at the Ministry of Magic, so no wonder there are barely any worthy careers when wizards easily live to 150 years old.  Wizarding Britain has a population of 10,000, and they have 13 professional Quidditch teams, or 1 team to every 780 people.  Say a team is 7 players with 7 understudies, it means 1.82% of the British wizard population plays professional Quidditch.  Then you add in managers, referees, support staff, and then the number gets higher and even more ridiculous.  There are plenty of blogs and websites where fans poke holes in the worldbuilding logic.  If you have ever read the classic children's books Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and its sequel Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, it runs off the same crazy logic that requires you to not think too hard or you'll ruin the fun of the story.  The last book is actually self-aware enough that a character is shushed when he asks too many questions.

Dragons can either be great characters or plot devices... Robin Hobb didn't do a bad job with hers, but I was still left wondering why they didn't slaughtered the creatures on chapter 1. Why would anyone in their right state of mind want to allow dragons to grow powerful? The fool was indeed a fool. The idea of 20 tonnes flying intelligent lizards having managed to develop cognitive functions equivalent to humans without have ever spent time at the bottom of the food chain is plain ridiculous. Strong powerful animals never develop intelligence: you don't have to be bright when you are the biggest meanest fish in the pond, you only need to growl loud.

I typically do not get humor unless it is very basic which is why I laugh out loud at Adolin and Shallan's first date but stand emotionless in front of most puns. To give you an example, I watch Deadpool yesterday which is supposed to hilarious. I did get it was supposed to be funny, but even with the subtitles on, I just couldn't get what was funny :ph34r: :ph34r::ph34r: I must be one of the only individuals who wasn't head over heal over this movie. Shallan is encouraged to make jokes because, after her mother's death, she grew silent: her first words were a bad pun. Hence, her brothers encouraged her to say more. It is quite sad when you think of it. I also think the reasons Renarin goes on with his training as a soldier are different than Shallan: he cannot conceive being anything else than a soldier as anything else would mark him as a failure. The fact he which may be more useful outside the battle field never really crosses his mind. Shallan doesn't make jokes because she thinks she is good at them, she makes joke because it is basically how she managed to talk again, so the habit stuck.

Harry Potter is a foolish story, entertaining, but foolish. What kind of parents would agree to send their brilliant daughter to a wizard and witchcraft school they never heard of where she will never touch again any of the important school subjects which are literature, mathematics, philosophy, geography and such? What use is there in being a wizard? They should have said: "Stop this none-sense, you are going to High School then to Oxford.". Seriously, wizards are practically illiterate, they have close to no formal teaching other than learning a bunch of spells, they stop their instruction at 17... I mean no wonder they sounded so disorganized.

On 28/09/2016 at 11:51 AM, sheep said:

If and when you rant, it is always good to put a notice saying "rant ahead, be warned".  That way people who don't like rant, or think rants are too negative when they involve a favourite character and they take it personally, can skip to the end or ignore the post.  On Goodreads, reviewers post a warning because some of them do use salty language, and that is not something everyone wants to see.  And the entertainment value of a review comes from how self-aware the writer is, because it is always more entertaining to see a bad book get roasted in a funny way than to read "it was the worst book ever", which is no better than the "best book ever" type reviews in terms of usefulness.  The line between a good rant and a bad rant is knowing the difference, and pointing out specific points of absurdity instead of being general and saying "the whole book was pure trash". 

What is about the WoB's that ruined Kaladin for you?  I didn't know he had clinical depression until I read a few discussion threads which mentioned it, but I'd noticed reading on my own that he was moody and emo most of the time.  I thought it was just an extension of his teenage edginess, since his mood swings were introduced as part of his character from the first flashbacks where his surly and sullen temperament was contrasted to Tien's happy personality.  It never crossed my mind that it was mental illness level depression.


Even if you warn people in advance of an upcoming rant, there are still those who'd call you out for it. Not everyone feel the need to vent out ranting every now and then and not everyone understands what others are doing when doing so. I adore rants, I find them funny and refreshing: there is a certain guilty pleasure in hearing others say out loud what others may be silently thinking. The downside is it is very easy to get carried away within the rant and to cross the threshold.

There is no specific WoB, but I didn't want him to suffer from clinical depression for a list of various reasons. Enough said I never thought the character was depressive: I thought his bouts of negativeness were highly understandable considering all he was forced to live through, but to hear it was a medical condition which was existing independently of his life hardships was not something I had wish for.

On 28/09/2016 at 11:51 AM, sheep said:

Long series with years and years between the first book and the last book's release are the worst at delivering a satisfying ending after years of speculation and hype.  There are a number of series that had the flattest endings when they had the potential to be so much better.  I read so many of them when I was younger, and I can barely remember the names of the books or who wrote them, but my lasting impression was how disappointing they were - that is how bad they are.  It is worse these days because a lot of publishers don't want standalone stories, they want authors to delivery a trilogy or they don't get a contract.  So it leads to filler, padding, inconsistent pacing, and unenjoyable story.  Reckoners is not that bad for a YA trilogy, but focus on the gimmick of "superpowers, one weakness" and action scenes overpowered the focus on the characters.  I remember picking up Calamity and when I read it, I realised I had forgotten who the heck Mizzy was and I didn't go back to Steelheart/Firefight because I didn't care at all.  


I really liked Lirael when I first read it, and on subsequent re-reads.  It is only recently that I realised why.  One of my favourite themes in fiction is when characters undergo a skill progression with applied hard work and perseverence.  No instant expertise (that is a massive NO), but skill acquired from practice or honed talent.  That is what I find satisfying and fulfilling in a character arc.  I liked the Old Kingdom series because no character stood out as annoyingly stupid.  If they behaved erratically, it was justified.  Yes, it's stupid for a villain to brag in front of the heroes, but it was established that Rogir was always vain and prideful.  I'm glad you liked Prince Sam, as I thought you would.  If you liked him, you might like Prince Khemri from Garth Nix's scifi standalone novel A Confusion of Princes.  The MC is not an introvert, he's a prince instead of an underdog hero, and also develops a sibling relationship if you like reading about that.  It's more space opera than hard sci-fi, which makes it more of a fantasy IN SPACE.

And all protagonists have the potential to be well or poorly written, whether they are introverted or extroverted or somewhere in between, depending on the skill of the author.  If an extrovert is annoying and develops a hatedom, it is not specifically because they are an extrovert, but because the author goofed somewhere.  In the series I was talking about, I hated the extroverted protagonist because the author was bad and kept throwing in random plot elements to keep the story going and draw out the tension (which made the last book in the series a disappointment) in a way that writing guidelines warn against.  If your plot gets boring, the last thing you should do is throw a ninja through the window to spice up some action, but that book was filled with it such contrived plots.  

I've been thinking about which books I've read had extroverted protagonists actually, and I don't think they are as rare as you make it out to be.  They're mostly in character-driven stories, and it is never explicitly mentioned that they are extroverts, and it is not focused on as a defining character trait as that makes a character one-dimensional, and most people are a mix of traits.  But it is not so impossible to find if you keep your standards relatively generous.


The Reckoners is a very light series which doesn't offer much in terms of character development. The main protagonist is very young and he never seems to grow from his mistakes which makes him less interesting. He has literally no character progression, he doesn't learn any lesson and he just keeps on being himself which enables him to win every single time. Even when he screws up, he wins. David is basically the glorification of teenagehood, impulsiveness which completely disregarding the concept of experience as the new kid around the block is, of course, better at everything than people who were at it for several years. It thus speaks more strongly to younger readers as young people always want the other young people to be right: they don't want to read about their parents actually having been right about a thing or two... Unfortunately, for older readers, it can be a serious miss.

I also love reading a character having a decent plausible progression which is explained within the main narrative. Having a character earn a skill without earning it isn't as satisfying, so yes I do agree Lirael is seen working for his skills to improve. I like Sam because he basically has the opposite story of our average "farm boy with a sword". He is a prince who basically has everything: he was trained, he is a good charter mage, he is good with a sword, he was schooled. In all appearances, he has everything except the emotional support of his family. Oh they love him, but they aren't exactly here for him so when he has problems, nobody is there to offer him the support he needs. He thus hangs up onto one concrete task: rescue Nicholas, but it also turns out being the one task which provides him with an escape. So he runs away. I do love the "runaway prince" trope. So basically, our Sameth, instead of "going on an adventure" and "longing for the great big world" is just running away from his due to feeling incapable of dealing with the pressure he feels onto his shoulders. I like Sam's story, this is exactly what I hope to read more of: other kind of arcs but the traditional "under-dog" gaining more powers because he/she is so special.

I personally have had a hard time finding books focusing on character types outside the very classical Aragorn, Kaladin, Vin, Rand, Tavi, Jon... not I disliked those characters, but I mean I kinda want to read something else now.

As for the Art: I love the Kaladin getting power one. I love how you draw him and I do think you have nailed the right balance in between commanding respect and remaining young. I also hate "Kaladin within his mid-life crisis" art other artists seem to favor.

Also your Heartstone depictions truly make me think of.... Switzerland and edelweiss... :ph34r::ph34r::ph34r: It is very imaginative, not quite how I pictured it, but it has become my head canon now.

Edited by maxal
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16 hours ago, maxal said:

I personally have had a hard time finding books focusing on character types outside the very classical Aragorn, Kaladin, Vin, Rand, Tavi, Jon... not I disliked those characters, but I mean I kinda want to read something else now.

Have you read any of Mary Robinette Kowal's stories? Glamourist Histories is a 5 book series that is Jane Austin with illusion magic. The last two books are the best, and you may like the 5th book because of the West Indies setting and all of the intricacies that introduces. My introduction to her was via the writing excuses book that includes Sixth of the Dust.  I also really liked Forest of Memories. She can be really great with prose, and I find her a very nice way to balance out e.g reading Steven Erikson's  Fantasy-Military  Malazan Book of the Fallen series epic fantasy series. Her latest book (the about WW1/2 nurses collecting info from the ghosts of dead soldiers) is supposed to be good.

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7 hours ago, Argel said:

Have you read any of Mary Robinette Kowal's stories? Glamourist Histories is a 5 book series that is Jane Austin with illusion magic. The last two books are the best, and you may like the 5th book because of the West Indies setting and all of the intricacies that introduces. My introduction to her was via the writing excuses book that includes Sixth of the Dust.  I also really liked Forest of Memories. She can be really great with prose, and I find her a very nice way to balance out e.g reading Steven Erikson's  Fantasy-Military  Malazan Book of the Fallen series epic fantasy series. Her latest book (the about WW1/2 nurses collecting info from the ghosts of dead soldiers) is supposed to be good.

I have never heard of it: it does sound quite different. I'll keep it on my reading list. I am not fan of Malazan though: couldn't get into it.

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Found soemthing awesome and thought that's the place to do it:

Spoiler

 

Edited by Oversleep
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On 7/30/2016 at 9:04 AM, sheep said:

Adolin and Jakamav

I drew two versions of this, a black-and-white to match the other sketchy pics I posted earlier, and a coloured one.  I kinda like the b&w one better, but what do you guys think?

Black and white

  Reveal hidden contents

dL3d8tF.jpg

 

Colour

  Hide contents

lU6VCsV.jpg


This is that scene after Jakamav and Adolin have a plateau battle on a rock formation that looks like a tiered wedding cake, but by the time they get to the top, Eshonai has already taken the gemheart.  Jakamav changes into his street clothes, and drinks wine in his tent.  Adolin has to sit on the floor because Shardplate is too heavy for chairs.  In my mind, Shardplate makes its wearer look bulky and imposing, so I wanted to show the size difference between a Shardbearer and a normal person.  I think that's something that fan artists have difficulty showing - to me, other people's drawings of Shardplate make it either look too small and thin, like it's skintight (think Power Ranger suits or Cybermen from Doctor Who).  It's not, since Shardbearers wear other clothes underneath.  Or they make it look too big, like it's a giant robot exoskeleton and not like there's a regular person underneath the magic shell.  Finding that perfect sweet spot right in the middle is hard.  I have trouble with it all the damnation time.

I decided that Jakamav's favourite colour is green because you can paint Shardplate any colour you like, and his is green.  So that is why he wears green a lot.  Since emeralds are the most valuable Soulcasting gem, green is probably associated with wealth in Roshar, so it makes it more fitting. 

Sheep, do you mind if I borrow the color version of Jakamav and Adolin to make a meme? I will credit you as the artist, of course. :)

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These pictures/art are pretty awesome.

 

You never know where stuff like this can take you... 

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