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If you were Brandon, what would you change?


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The series is so well done, so imo there's not that much big stuff to change about it. However I would change a little thing- why is it that it is called "soulcasting" but it uses the Cognative realm? Shouldn't it use the Spiritual realm?

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I honestly wouldn't change anything. 

12 minutes ago, Price_McKinney said:

The series is so well done, so imo there's not that much big stuff to change about it. However I would change a little thing- why is it that it is called "soulcasting" but it uses the Cognative realm? Shouldn't it use the Spiritual realm?

I think this is an in world name, and they probably believe that they are changing the soul of the object. 

And to be fair, the Cognitive aspect seems to be closer to what we think of as the "soul" than the Spiritual aspect. 

It's the Cognitive that goes beyond after all

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2 minutes ago, Calderis said:

I honestly wouldn't change anything. 

I think this is an in world name, and they probably believe that they are changing the soul of the object. 

And to be fair, the Cognitive aspect seems to be closer to what we think of as the "soul" than the Spiritual aspect. 

It's the Cognitive that goes beyond after all

Yeah, I see what you mean. You really wouldn't change anything?

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1 minute ago, Price_McKinney said:

 

Yeah, I see what you mean. You really wouldn't change anything?

Nope. Brandon plans things well enough that even the things I have questions about, I'm confident have a purpose.

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1. I would keep the original ending to "Words of Radiance".

2. Kill someone (relatively) important in the Stormlight Archive and have them stay dead. Dalinar, Jasnah, Renarin, Adolin, or Elhokar would be the list I would choose from (in order of most recommended to least recommended).

3. Postpone (or cancel) the Apocalypse Guard series and focus on Warbreaker 2 and Elantris 2 instead. [Not a huge fan of the Reckoners series.]

This next one is not about SA but...
4. I would ask him to somehow fix the travesty that is "Shadows of Self". [For a number of reasons I will not get into in this thread.]

 

Note: I just want to reiterate that these are simply my ideas and I am not making definitive statements about what is good/bad writing.

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I think the wax and wayne books lack a certain amount of gravitas that was present in the original trilogy and I think era 2 would be better for it. At first I didn't like the leisurely pace of Way of Kings but, by the time I finished it, I ended up enjoying getting lost in his world and slowly exploring it.

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2 minutes ago, CaptainRyan said:

 

This next one is not about SA but...
4. I would ask him to somehow fix the travesty that is "Shadows of Self". [For a number of reasons I will not get into in this thread.]

 

Could you provide a link where these problems are discussed? I thought it was a step up from Alloy of Law. But I did the audiobook route so perhaps there was a plot hole I missed bc, for me, there are moments I lose focus going through the book that way.

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39 minutes ago, CaptainRyan said:

1. I would keep the original ending to "Words of Radiance".

2. Kill someone (relatively) important in the Stormlight Archive and have them stay dead. Dalinar, Jasnah, Renarin, Adolin, or Elhokar would be the list I would choose from (in order of most recommended to least recommended).

3. Postpone (or cancel) the Apocalypse Guard series and focus on Warbreaker 2 and Elantris 2 instead. [Not a huge fan of the Reckoners series.]

This next one is not about SA but...
4. I would ask him to somehow fix the travesty that is "Shadows of Self". [For a number of reasons I will not get into in this thread.]

 

Note: I just want to reiterate that these are simply my ideas and I am not making definitive statements about what is good/bad writing.

I strongly agree with #1 and #3.  I mostly agree with #2.  As for #4, I found Bands of Morning so good that I can ignore the problems from the previous book.

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53 minutes ago, CaptainRyan said:

1. I would keep the original ending to "Words of Radiance".

2. Kill someone (relatively) important in the Stormlight Archive and have them stay dead. Dalinar, Jasnah, Renarin, Adolin, or Elhokar would be the list I would choose from (in order of most recommended to least recommended).

3. Postpone (or cancel) the Apocalypse Guard series and focus on Warbreaker 2 and Elantris 2 instead. [Not a huge fan of the Reckoners series.]

This next one is not about SA but...
4. I would ask him to somehow fix the travesty that is "Shadows of Self". [For a number of reasons I will not get into in this thread.]

 

Note: I just want to reiterate that these are simply my ideas and I am not making definitive statements about what is good/bad writing.

Strongly agree with this. A big problem with Stormlight is no one dies. I don't want needless death, but i get the impression that everyone is immortal. 

Also ( this is more of a quibble than anything ) Gaz and co become obedient far too quickly. They suddenly turn from monsters to kind and caring characters. Especially the leader of the group (can't recall his name)

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52 minutes ago, Ammanas said:

Could you provide a link where these problems are discussed?

I am unaware if there is a thread where I have discussed my issues with "Shadows of Self". I did not want to derail the thread by airing my grievances here haha.

17 minutes ago, Lightning said:

I found Bands of Morning so good that I can ignore the problems from the previous book.

"Bands of Mourning" is a fantastic book. I am really happy it was released so close to "Shadows of Self" or else I would have been so bitter haha.

2 minutes ago, ICanDream said:

Especially the leader of the group (can't recall his name)

Vatha I believe.

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4 minutes ago, ICanDream said:

Strongly agree with this. A big problem with Stormlight is no one dies. I don't want needless death, but i get the impression that everyone is immortal. 

I know a lot of people agree with you. I've never had this issue though. The way that I see it, with the way that the desolations have been described, if they all weren't so hard to kill they'd all be dead the moment the real fighting starts. 

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3 minutes ago, Calderis said:

I know a lot of people agree with you. I've never had this issue though. The way that I see it, with the way that the desolations have been described, if they all weren't so hard to kill they'd all be dead the moment the real fighting starts. 

To be fair, Szeth had no unique powers when he "died". That "resurrection" was a bit deus ex machina; though, to be fair, it probably would not have been as big of a deal if Jasnah and, presumably, Eshonai did not also "die" and "return". Three, more or less, fake deaths in one book was a bit much for me.

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Just now, CaptainRyan said:

To be fair, Szeth had no unique powers when he "died". That "resurrection" was a bit deus ex machina; though, to be fair, it probably would not have been as big of a deal if Jasnah and, presumably, Eshonai did not also "die" and "return". Three, more or less, fake deaths in one book was a bit much for me.

That might be a part of it too. The only one of them I thought was dead was Szeth. 

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Um if I were Brandon... I would probably have more steelrunners. I like steelrunners more than coinshots. But that's about it. I love everything. I enjoyed how different the Wax and Wayne series was from the original mistborn series. It makes me laugh, and I really enjoyed that. I enjoy the contrast. But that's just me. 

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You may find these WoBs interesting for Brandon's own thoughts on revision and death

Quote

Q: Hi Brandon! I wanted to talk about the revised ending of Words of Radiance. So, it looks like Kaladin won't be actually delivering the killing blow to Szeth any more. I think that Kaladin was entirely justified in doing this, since it was a fight to the death, and Kaladin was protecting not only Dalinar but his entire squad below. Kaladin even seems surprised when he lands the blow, expecting Szeth to block it like he had been doing the entire fight. The killing was not done in vengeance or with malice, unlike what Adolin does later. Having the storm kill Szeth seems like an anti-climatic way to end the scene, since it takes away Szeth's decision to die by the sword, and means we no longer have an example of why the Spren Shardblades don't immediately kill people. 
 
A: I woud be fine having him do it, though I think killing a foe who has given up was against this thematic plot. But what pushed me over the edge to change was the sense that I was pulling too many fast ones on the reader with people coming back to life. I wanted it clear to readers that Szeth was not dead, so this scene wasn't a fake out, which would weaken Jasnah's arrival later.
 
Q: That is a lot more understandable. Having too many reveals at the end could be problematic. I agree that Jasnah coming back felt like pulling a fast one right at the end. However, I think the suprise of Szeth coming back was really well done, especially with the reveal of Nin( Nale, Nalan? This dude is so old he has three names!) at the very end with his special sword friend. I feel like that was the real zinger that should have closed the book. I was a little underwhelmed with Jasnah coming back, not because I dislike her, but because I thought she was well and truly dead. She died so early in the book that I was completely accepting of her death by the end, and her coming back in a 'gotcha' moment felt a little hollow. Perhaps this could have happened about a hundred pages into the next book? I don't know the entire story like you do, of course, but as a reader it felt like Szeth and his rebirth should have been the final closing image. 
 
A: This all came about, if you're curious, during the detailed plotting of the second book. Originally, the outline did not call for Jasnah to leave, but I was having real trouble getting Shallan into a place--emotionally and experience-wise--where she could do the things she needed to do while Jasnah was around. I determined that Jasnah needed to pull a Gandalf, and let her ward alone for a while, and I'm glad I did it--the book is much, much stronger for it. However, the side effects of the last-minute change in the plot required Jasnah's reappearance, which sent a few waves through the book. (Szeth's death and survival being the main one.)

Quote

Q: What were you dissatisfied with in WoR?
 
A: It's twofold. Spoilers follow, obviously.
In the original draft, none of the alpha readers felt that I had 'sold' Jasnah dying to them, and were all like, "Ha. Nice try. No body. She's alive.' So I kicked the assassination scene up a notch, until betas were like, "Stormfather! Jasnah just died!"
That was a mistake, I now believe. (Though this didn't get changed, and won't get changed.) Sometimes, I over-emphasize to myself the importance of surprises and twists. The book is fine if readers suspect Jasnah is still alive--actually, I think it's stronger, because it is more satisfying to be right in that situation, and doesn't detract from Szeth's miraculous survival at the end.
I knew this soon after I'd released the book, but decided it was just too extensive a change to try tweaking.
The other one I did tweak. In the battle at the end between Kaladin and Szeth, I'd toyed with letting the storm take Szeth--him essentially committing suicide--as opposed to him spreading his hands and letting Kaladin kill him. I felt that after the oath Kaladin had just sworn, stabbing a docile opponent unwilling to fight back just didn't jive. This I tweaked, changing the paperback from the hardcover, which has produced mixed results.
Most people agree the change is better, but they also say they'd rather not have the hardcover and paperback have different accounts in it, and would rather I just stick to what we put in the hardcover. It was interesting to try, to see what the response would be like, but it seems that the better option all around is to just wait until I'm certain I don't want to revert any of the revisions or tweak anything new.

Quote

Yes, I've been thinking about this. Spoilers below.

The issue is, resurrection is a major theme of the cosmere. The very first line of the first chapter of the first cosmere book starts with someone dying. The story is about his return to life.

The death of Adonalsium, and the questions surrounding the persistence of his power, is THE single pervasive theme of the works. And so, I've returned to this theme multiple times--from Sazed's more metaphorical rebirth in Mistborn Three to Syl's more literal one in Words of Radiance.

At the same time, the more this theme continues, the more it undermines the reader's ability to believe someone is really dead--and therefore their tension at worrying over the safety of characters. So we need a better "Dead is dead" indication, otherwise every death will turn into Sirius Black, with readers being skeptical for years to come.

So, let's just say it's something I'm aware of. Josh, of the 17th Shard, was the first one to raise the issue with me years ago. We need a balance between narrative drama and cosmere themes of rebirth.

 

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Here are mine, I do consider most of them to be minor except perhaps for the first two since they tackle two of my least favorite Brandon books :ph34r:

1) I would re-write Warbeaker to make is a more engaging story, potentially with different protagonists. I understand he has a "plan" for Vivenna and he believes she will become a well rounded character "eventually", but since the sequel is nowhere near in terms of schedule, it is kind of pointless. Fact is, I don't think she works as a protagonist in Warbreaker which makes the pacing of this book is off. It relies too heavily on unsympathetic and/or low in agency protagonists. The story had potential, the ending is quite good, but the execution is not spectacular.

2) I would re-write Shadow of Self because quite frankly it wasn't all that good. There was way too much Wayne in it and while I do love the "idea of Wayne", I dislike the execution. Nobody can be this dense, this disconnected, this frazzled, this unable to think with cohesive thoughts. It is a shame, with his backstory, he had the potential to be a great character, but I felt Brandon over-emphasized the "I am funny" aspect of the character which does not work out for me. I also dislike the strong focus onto the murder inquiry which was... boring. I don't read fantasy to read murder and mystery: I hate murder and mystery, that's why I am reading fantasy, do I'd rather my fantasy doesn't revolve over an... inquiry for a murder. 

3) I would change his approach to homosexuality. I understand this is a difficult topic for him and I understand he isn't comfortable in writing protagonists which are homosexual. I don't mind it, we each have our struggles I do not think less of him for it: I salute his courage to voice it out. I however do not feel writing useless scenes where Wayne needlessly trades objects until he gets the perfect gift for Ranette just so she could tell him she is homosexual works out. I especially do not think Wax and Marasi's reaction works out: "Oh well we all knew". If you are to write homosexuality within your books, then do it properly, give me the social context, make someone which matters deal with it, don't just drop it onto an unimportant side character. When you do this, I feel you are just checking out a box out of a list: "Have a homosexual character", "Check". 

4) I would also not launch new series nor new projects until I manage to complete the existing ones which include Nightblood, the Rithmatist sequel and the final Mistborn book for Era 1.5. Just these books and SA should be enough: I don't want SA4 to be further delayed because Brandon is working on Apocalypse Guard. Right now, I feel there are too many unfinished products to work on new ones.

5) I would make the Cosmere more... obvious. Right now, I can't get engage in it because I don't feel it is important: it plays little role into the novels and I don't get the feeling these worlds are inter-connected. This might be for the future, I can't say, but right now, it seems such a vague concept to me, I fail to grasp the vibe.

6) I too would keep the original ending to WoR because I did think it was superior and I do hate the idea of authors coming back to change their endings... I find it anti-climatic and I disliked Kaladin not killing Szeth.

7) I wouldn't change the dead-non-dead characters because I do understand there is a rational to them, but I would point everyone said to be dead truly is dead. I wouldn't bring anyone back unless it is made very obvious. I would refrain from using this plot for, at least a few books. Unlike many, I don't think "anyone important" has to die for the story to remain interesting, but I would make sure it is known Helaran, Sadeas and company are dead, dead.

8) I would give Adolin a decent role within future books because his character is interesting and, more over, has caught the interest of many readers. I would find a way to give him a spotlight even if he doesn't have "his book". I would not cut him off because I need page time to write more of Eshonai in book 4. Obviously, since I have no idea what Brandon did or did not do, I would however mentioned it, somewhere, I intend for it so readers could stop wondering about it :ph34r:

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I would probably remove some of the Kaladin saves the day scenes. Currently, he feels like Charizard in the Pokemon anime, who always shows up and does cool stuff, despite the fact that other characters also need to do cool stuff.

Oh, and this is purely personal, but I would find a way to kill Spook, because I dislike him.

Oh, and I would have made the ending of Calamity a bit longer, so we could

Spoiler

See Mizzy, Cody and Abraham one more time. I would also have told more of Abrahams backstory.

 

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I would mostly change Kaladings storyline in WoR to make it more believable.

1. Make the friendship with Moash more believable. In the book we are told in Kaladin's chapters that Moash is his bestest of friends but Moash never felt like a true friend of Kaladins to me. He always felt more like he only supported Kaladin because it suited his own goals, not because he liked Kaladin. Theft and Rock always felt like much truer friends. They supported Kaladin before he started doing great things for Bridge Four and I just don't see the supposed "worship" that Kaladins think they are doing. This gives of the feeling that Moash "friendship" isn't in the book because it makes sense for the characters in the story, but rather so that Kaladins Arc could happen and he could be betrayed by someone who's supposedly important to him.

2. Give him a better reason not to immediatly imprison the traitors. It always felt dumb to me that he clearly made his mind up to have them arrested and then just doesn't bother to do it until his arc forces him to change his mind. 

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8 hours ago, Toaster Retribution said:

I would probably remove some of the Kaladin saves the day scenes. Currently, he feels like Charizard in the Pokemon anime, who always shows up and does cool stuff, despite the fact that other characters also need to do cool stuff.

This is something I have often commented on and while I would not currently voice it as a critic, if Oathbringer presents the same pattern all over again, I definitely will. I would love if Kaladin were to solve the ending climax through team work and not just by being stronger, faster and more awesome than everybody else. Or even better, if he only has a small role to play, giving away the spotlight to someone else. However, only two books into the story, I can't say it is a critic I have, more stuff I am pondering about for the future.

36 minutes ago, Amaror said:

1. Make the friendship with Moash more believable. In the book we are told in Kaladin's chapters that Moash is his bestest of friends but Moash never felt like a true friend of Kaladins to me. He always felt more like he only supported Kaladin because it suited his own goals, not because he liked Kaladin. Theft and Rock always felt like much truer friends. They supported Kaladin before he started doing great things for Bridge Four and I just don't see the supposed "worship" that Kaladins think they are doing. This gives of the feeling that Moash "friendship" isn't in the book because it makes sense for the characters in the story, but rather so that Kaladins Arc could happen and he could be betrayed by someone who's supposedly important to him.

To be honest, Kaladin and Moash have known each other for no more than a few weeks... I fear depicting a deeper friendship bond would have been a tad forced. I got Kaladin liked Moash and considered him a friend mostly because Moash was the only one to treat him as a normal human being and not some magical savior. This being said, Kaladin definitely needs someone, in his life, who won't look up to him to save them nor won't worship him and who would talk to him as normal people do, telling him the good, the bad and the ugly.

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1 minute ago, maxal said:

To be honest, Kaladin and Moash have known each other for no more than a few weeks... I fear depicting a deeper friendship bond would have been a tad forced. I got Kaladin liked Moash and considered him a friend mostly because Moash was the only one to treat him as a normal human being and not some magical savior. This being said, Kaladin definitely needs someone, in his life, who won't look up to him to save them nor won't worship him and who would talk to him as normal people do, telling him the good, the bad and the ugly.

Yeah, but I felt like Rock, at least if not Theft too, allready did that. I certainly saw no "Hero-Worship" from Rocks side and he treated Kalading like any of the others. To me it felt like Moash was mostly described as a friend so that the other real friends of Kaladin didn't have to become betrayers. 

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3 minutes ago, Amaror said:

Yeah, but I felt like Rock, at least if not Theft too, allready did that. I certainly saw no "Hero-Worship" from Rocks side and he treated Kalading like any of the others. To me it felt like Moash was mostly described as a friend so that the other real friends of Kaladin didn't have to become betrayers. 

I think this is because Moash is younger and within an age with Kaladin while Teft and Rock are much older. Kaladin does state at one point he feels closer to Moash because he is almost the same age as he. It is one of the reasons I so hope the bromance will work out in between Kaladin and Adolin: these deserves each other as friends, real friends.

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7 hours ago, Amaror said:

Yeah, but I felt like Rock, at least if not Theft too, allready did that. I certainly saw no "Hero-Worship" from Rocks side and he treated Kalading like any of the others. To me it felt like Moash was mostly described as a friend so that the other real friends of Kaladin didn't have to become betrayers. 

I disagree. With rock, the worship was more directed at Syl, but it still would make the relationship awkward. 

With Teft, the near tears at times, realizing that Kal was a Radiant implies a pretty good savior mentality towards Kal. 

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On 7/6/2017 at 7:47 PM, maxal said:

Here are mine, I do consider most of them to be minor except perhaps for the first two since they tackle two of my least favorite Brandon books :ph34r:

1) I would re-write Warbeaker to make is a more engaging story, potentially with different protagonists. I understand he has a "plan" for Vivenna and he believes she will become a well rounded character "eventually", but since the sequel is nowhere near in terms of schedule, it is kind of pointless. Fact is, I don't think she works as a protagonist in Warbreaker which makes the pacing of this book is off. It relies too heavily on unsympathetic and/or low in agency protagonists. The story had potential, the ending is quite good, but the execution is not spectacular.

2) I would re-write Shadow of Self because quite frankly it wasn't all that good. There was way too much Wayne in it and while I do love the "idea of Wayne", I dislike the execution. Nobody can be this dense, this disconnected, this frazzled, this unable to think with cohesive thoughts. It is a shame, with his backstory, he had the potential to be a great character, but I felt Brandon over-emphasized the "I am funny" aspect of the character which does not work out for me. I also dislike the strong focus onto the murder inquiry which was... boring. I don't read fantasy to read murder and mystery: I hate murder and mystery, that's why I am reading fantasy, do I'd rather my fantasy doesn't revolve over an... inquiry for a murder. 

3) I would change his approach to homosexuality. I understand this is a difficult topic for him and I understand he isn't comfortable in writing protagonists which are homosexual. I don't mind it, we each have our struggles I do not think less of him for it: I salute his courage to voice it out. I however do not feel writing useless scenes where Wayne needlessly trades objects until he gets the perfect gift for Ranette just so she could tell him she is homosexual works out. I especially do not think Wax and Marasi's reaction works out: "Oh well we all knew". If you are to write homosexuality within your books, then do it properly, give me the social context, make someone which matters deal with it, don't just drop it onto an unimportant side character. When you do this, I feel you are just checking out a box out of a list: "Have a homosexual character", "Check". 

4) I would also not launch new series nor new projects until I manage to complete the existing ones which include Nightblood, the Rithmatist sequel and the final Mistborn book for Era 1.5. Just these books and SA should be enough: I don't want SA4 to be further delayed because Brandon is working on Apocalypse Guard. Right now, I feel there are too many unfinished products to work on new ones.

5) I would make the Cosmere more... obvious. Right now, I can't get engage in it because I don't feel it is important: it plays little role into the novels and I don't get the feeling these worlds are inter-connected. This might be for the future, I can't say, but right now, it seems such a vague concept to me, I fail to grasp the vibe.

6) I too would keep the original ending to WoR because I did think it was superior and I do hate the idea of authors coming back to change their endings... I find it anti-climatic and I disliked Kaladin not killing Szeth.

7) I wouldn't change the dead-non-dead characters because I do understand there is a rational to them, but I would point everyone said to be dead truly is dead. I wouldn't bring anyone back unless it is made very obvious. I would refrain from using this plot for, at least a few books. Unlike many, I don't think "anyone important" has to die for the story to remain interesting, but I would make sure it is known Helaran, Sadeas and company are dead, dead.

8) I would give Adolin a decent role within future books because his character is interesting and, more over, has caught the interest of many readers. I would find a way to give him a spotlight even if he doesn't have "his book". I would not cut him off because I need page time to write more of Eshonai in book 4. Obviously, since I have no idea what Brandon did or did not do, I would however mentioned it, somewhere, I intend for it so readers could stop wondering about it :ph34r:

The only one I disagree with is number 4. It's just Brandon's style. He's stated numerous times that he has to step away from a project and do something completely different. Sure it might lead to delays, but I'll take that sacrifice. I don't care what the process is or how long it takes to get there, as long as the content continues to be as good as it is, I'm fine. But that's just me. 

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