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(08-25-2019, 10:19 PM)Mattias Westlund Wrote: [ -> ]Bit of an OT thing here, but:

I picked up Assassin's Apprentice at a thrift shop earlier this week and read it in like two or three days. Been a long time since I found myself so captivated by a book that I didn't want to put it down. I didn't find it boring at all, in fact it was refreshing with a relatively modern (1995) fantasy novel that harkens back to the great fantasy of the sixties and seventies like Ursula Le Guin's Earhsea books and Patricia A. McKillip's Riddle-Master trilogy. No big world-altering plots and high fantasy tropes, just a ton of great characters and a world that is so detailed and real-feeling you can almost smell it. I absolutely must get hold of the rest of the Farseer trilogy now. This is very inspiring stuff.

That's a glowing recommendation of some books I've been eyeballing for years. Now that I'm going to be on the lookout for a copy of Assassin's Apprentice at the used book stores there won't be any; because that's how it goes... Tongue

Earthsea is an absolute classic. I'm due for another re-read. I've read all of the books at least two or three times. The whole story through The Other Wind is just is fantastic.
I realized some week ago that I've made some miscalculations in my synopsis. The way I'm picturing the events at the conclusion of the book did not mesh with how the chapters are laid out in terms of viewpoints (Rynn, Baylon, Olvan, Lilian etc), and suddenly changing the order so late in the book would be a little weird. So I decided to add another three chapters, with possibly a short epilogue featuring Lilian.

It's not just a matter of a having neatly ordered sequence of POV's either, of course. Wrapping things up properly in the handful of chapters I have left (I know I've said 24) is just not going to happen, at least not without everything feeling very rushed. So adding more definitely feels like the right thing to do.

This entails however that I'm nowhere as near as close to finishing this thing as I thought. I was hoping to have at least a complete first draft finished before the end of the year, but that seems increasingly unlikely. We'll see though.

At 104k words and counting, I think it's safe to say this isn't turning out to be the short sword and sorcery romp I originally imagined...
Chapter 20 is FINALLY done. I've been struggling with this for months now, not so much because I wasn't sure what was going to happen, but because I wasn't sure how much to reveal. This is a first draft so it's a little clunky in places and I'm sure there are errors, both in terms of language and continuity. Anyway, I needed to get this damn chapter out of the way so I can fully focus on the following ones.
As an aside... I picked up Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn books a while back but only got around to reading them some week ago. I'm completely unfamiliar with his work, basically I just know his name from being the guy who picked up the WoT books after Robert Jordan passed away. What's your opinion of him? And is the Mistborn stuff representative of his writing overall?
(10-08-2019, 09:31 PM)Mattias Westlund Wrote: [ -> ]As an aside... I picked up Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn books a while back but only got around to reading them some week ago. I'm completely unfamiliar with his work, basically I just know his name from being the guy who picked up the WoT books after Robert Jordan passed away. What's your opinion of him? And is the Mistborn stuff representative of his writing overall?

Brandon Sanderson is a writer of admirable ambition who builds some truly impressive worlds and systems of magic. His characterization is somewhat shakier, not nearly as well-rounded as, say, Daniel Abraham or Elizabeth Bear, and he's not exceptional with romantic elements or with humor. His prose is nothing exceptional, but it's solidly readable and drives you forward. I have mixed opinions: I adore his worldbuilding, but his characterization is sort of middling, though there is the occasional highlight: Sazed, from the books you are about to read, is a favorite of mine not just from Mistborn but across the fantasy genre in general.

I can not tell you how representative Mistborn is of his work overall because I have only read, aside from the aforementioned, his Stormlight Archive, which shares pretty much all of Mistborn's strengths and carries over all of its weaknesses (to lesser or greater extent), too.

Now... mixed as my opinions of Sanderson are, I actually really enjoyed Mistborn. It's ambitious, it's different from a lot of typical fantasy set-ups, and even if the characters aren't necessary deep, none of them are poorly conceived, if you catch what I'm trying to say. They're all interesting to some degree or another. The threads of story all tie together just about immaculately. It's slow going at the beginning, but there's this term "sanderstorm" for the way that everything joins up and quickens towards the tail end of his books. In longer books (Looking at you, Stormlight) this can become wearying, but Mistborn is just about the perfect length for the technique to have maximal impact and create maximal satisfaction.

I hope you enjoy reading it! It's rather good! Let me know what you think of it when you're finished with it!
Thanks Terry, glad to hear that the story will pick up up eventually because right now, it's a little dull. The fantasy world is indeed interesting -- I'm assuming it's supposed to be a world where the big baddie won the war between good and evil or something like that? It sure is a bleak place at any rate. Almost ridiculously so.

Right now though, I would say Sanderson's prose is the big turnoff for me. It feels plain and uninspired and not very fantasy-esque at all, it reads more like like one of those bland young adult novels that were written only to cash in on the success of the Hunger Games. I found myself wondering if this was an intentional stylistic choice, that the language is supposed to reflect the starkness of the setting, but I guess that's just the way he writes then. And he continued Jordan's work? Yikes, that must be quite the shift in style.
(10-10-2019, 02:37 PM)Mattias Westlund Wrote: [ -> ]Thanks Terry, glad to hear that the story will pick up up eventually because right now, it's a little dull. The fantasy world is indeed interesting -- I'm assuming it's supposed to be a world where the big baddie won the war between good and evil or something like that? It sure is a bleak place at any rate. Almost ridiculously so.

Right now though, I would say Sanderson's prose is the big turnoff for me. It feels plain and uninspired and not very fantasy-esque at all, it reads more like like one of those bland young adult novels that were written only to cash in on the success of the Hunger Games. I found myself wondering if this was an intentional stylistic choice, that the language is supposed to reflect the starkness of the setting, but I guess that's just the way he writes then. And he continued Jordan's work? Yikes, that must be quite the shift in style.

Slow beginnings and epic endings are one of Sanderson's trademarks, for better and for worse.

Yeah, YA novel is pretty much Sanderson's prose in a nutshell. I think it is in part his natural voice and in part the result of his prolificity - he's generally working on two or more projects at once and frequently puts out two (or more) novels a year (In addition to his novels [which, let's not forget, means multiple drafts before publication!], he also blogs semi-regularly and records a podcast called Writing Excuses [which I recommend] with other writers). I may be misremembering, but I think he once admitted in an interview to weakness in the area of a prose because he's so prolific and busy.

I assume that he adjusted his style to better match up with Robert Jordan's work - opinions are always mixed, of course, but the general consensus is that Sanderson did a remarkable job of bringing the series to a close. (The general consensus so far as I know. I've never read Wheel of Time.)
(10-10-2019, 04:58 PM)Terry93D Wrote: [ -> ]I assume that he adjusted his style to better match up with Robert Jordan's work - opinions are always mixed, of course, but the general consensus is that Sanderson did a remarkable job of bringing the series to a close. (The general consensus so far as I know. I've never read Wheel of Time.)

I read the first three or so books years ago, but that's as far as I ever got. Jordan's books are fine, really -- as a world builder I actually like him better than GRRM, as Jordan has more interesting ideas -- but kind of overwhelming. So many characters, so many settings, and every page dripping with lore. I will need to revisit them some day though. It's such an iconic suite that I feel bad about not having read all of it.
I must confess I'm finding it a bit difficult to picture what kind of world the Mistborn books take place in, and the wiki isn't of much help either. The Final Empire is not a medieval world, so much is clear, but I feel like I'm not given much to go on other than details here and there. People wear suits and use fountain pens [edit: and pocket watches!], and there are frequent mentions of mills and factories, and I can't help but wonder if this is supposed to be some kind of nightmarish Dickensian type of setting? Luthadel with its mists and slums certainly does bring 19th century London to mind.
Chapters 21 and 22 are done! But you know what? I can't be bothered with keeping formatted pdf versions available anymore, not until this thing is done at any rate. It's too much work and time that could be better spent just pressing on. Besides, anyone potentially interested in reading an unfinished novel will likely have an eReader handy anyway. So it's text files from here on out! Zip file attached.

Enjoy. I'm on the final lap now, with five chapters left to go and large parts of them already written.
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