Anyone ever get the feeling...

Discussion in 'Wheel of Time Discussion - Books 1-14' started by Inanna Landred, Oct 29, 2015.

  1. Inanna Landred

    Inanna Landred Aes Sedai

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    The series would be only half as long if RJ had cut out the descriptions of clothes and the weather? :scratch

    I mean, don't get me wrong, it's obviously great to have that much detail if you plan on doing a RPG and need to re-create the characters or run a WoT-based fashion show, but I'm listening to the audio books at the moment, where you can't simply skim over the bits that don't interest you and I just find myself zoning out when another one of Min's outfits is described again.


    Same with the weather, although I guess filling the pages is a part of every fantasy epic, you can't just jump from one main event to the next.
     
  2. Maibella ni Rhoiden t'al'Varrak

    Maibella ni Rhoiden t'al'Varrak Aes Sedai TVT Editor Forum Moderator

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    :lol You're probably right, but I'm the kind of person who loves all those details. I remember someone complaining about the looooong description of I think it was Elaida's desk and how so much of it could have been cut out. My first thought was that I didn't remember there being too much detail at all, and that I loved reading (or listening to) every bit of it. :p
     
  3. Aduiavas Ida

    Aduiavas Ida Aes Sedai Mistress of Revels - Europe Forum Moderator

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    I agree that details are wonderful, but Jordan does tend to overdo it just a little bit, imo :look In a chapter in PoD I think :look it takes Elayne, Aviendha, Birgitte and Nynaeve a whole CHAPTER to walk down a corridor and out to a courtyard, because we get detailed descriptions of them, their dresses and stuff they pass and/or talk about. It does tend to slow the books down, especially the later ones...
     
  4. Inanna Landred

    Inanna Landred Aes Sedai

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    At some points it just feels like he was running out of ideas and was just buying time to fill the book. :cheese.

    Like I said: I never noticed it so much when I was reading the books, but now I'm walking along listening to the audio books and finding myself going "Ye gods, get on with it man!".

    I guess one must admire his attention to detail though, I would imagine not many men would have that much of an interest in fashion.
     
  5. Megana Vallentin

    Megana Vallentin Aes Sedai

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    It's one of the reasons I like the books better once Sanderson took over. I feel like he cut down a lot on the excessive descriptions, though whether that was due to the amount of plot he had to fit into the last books or just the difference in writing styles, I'm not sure.

    But yes, boy is it useful if you're thinking about a costume!
     
  6. Ealandrelle Melyma

    Ealandrelle Melyma Aes Sedai

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    Oddly, I don't mind the extended descriptions in the audio book, but I found them really tiresome when I was reading (and re-reading, and re-reading) the books :lol I think because I'm in the mindset of "I have to listen to it all" I'm somehow more tolerant? And what I've found is that I actually have a much stronger picture in my head of quite a few people and places (can't think of specific examples right now) from listening. I'd certainly go back and listen to the series again. I'm on AMoL now, and I'm actually kinda sad that it'll soon be over. Well, I say "soon" - I have 29 hours left to go :lol
     
  7. Kerna Shedrian

    Kerna Shedrian Aes Sedai

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    I skimmed when I read the books the first time. I still occasionally do but there are times when I concentrate on the words and descriptions like when researching and I actually am amazed at his level of detail. There are some things you just don't notice until later. I don't mind the clothes talk or the caricaturing of some of the characters.
     
  8. Murun

    Murun

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    @Aduivas Ida: I remember that chaper quite well, and we get a lot more than what you mention - it's an Aviendha PoV, we get her self-dout about going soft, we get her wish to drub Teslyn (just a little bit), who has an interesting conversation with Nyaneave, there is the confession that Avi still puts more trust into sharp steel than into the Power, and there is Birgitte murmuring "Kittens!" at the girls and sounding fond, Avi blushing tomato color. Well, I did not get bored ...
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2015
  9. Aduiavas Ida

    Aduiavas Ida Aes Sedai Mistress of Revels - Europe Forum Moderator

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    Murun, I'm not saying the whole chapter is redundant, but it could have been done with a lot less words. And that is just one example. That whole setting up until they FINALLY use the bowl of the winds, are dragged out imo :look
     
  10. Tehmpus

    Tehmpus

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    Is the purpose of a fantasy book to get the knowledge as quickly as possible or to thoroughly enjoy it? When I tell a tale, usually I make the descriptions much shorter in order to speed along the adventure, but Robert Jordon's writing style was more like Tolkien with the flowery descriptions of the world. I enjoy his style.
     
  11. Elania al'Manir

    Elania al'Manir Aes Sedai Forum Moderator

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    I don't mind that he described her office once. I mind that he described it multiple times in pretty much the same manner each time.
     
  12. Alyccea Nymaessene

    Alyccea Nymaessene Aes Sedai

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    I don't hugely mind the long descriptions, in general. However, what bugs me is that sometimes I feel like RJ didn't quite know what he was describing, and so his descriptions weren't clear (whether this is the case or not, I don't know, but it's how I feel when I'm reading the series).

    Commonly debated examples include "sniff" (seriously, what is this? If he can't describe it in such a way that I can visualise it right away, then he probably needs to describe it differently, or just not at all) and "slashes" (on a dress - again, this really didn't make much sense to me, and I constantly find myself wondering whether RJ knew clearly what he had in mind, and if so, why he failed so spectacularly to describe it clearly for the reader). There are other, less often used examples throughout the series.

    I feel like, if I'd only understood better what was being described, I probably would have enjoyed the descriptions a whole lot more. Only those parts I don't understand make me feel like I'm wasting my time (and thankfully there aren't too many of them).
     
  13. Inanna Landred

    Inanna Landred Aes Sedai

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    It's a hugely subjective opinion, I appreciate that. The fact that I struggled with Tolkien for his page long descriptions of a stone as well probably says more about me than about the skill of the author. I will hold my hands up and readily admit I am very much an instant gratification kind of person. And it's a testament to the fact that the story was gripping me so much that I was just too eager to get to the good bits ;)
     
  14. Relli Kaross

    Relli Kaross

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    I have always gotten that "Tolkien-esque" vibe from the descriptive overload. It's one of the things I love so much about the books. If I am using books as an escape (which I often do), the descriptions really help. It creates such a vibrant world to slip into.
    I do appreciate how he doesn't have loads of lengthy songs and poems though. That was the only part of LotR I skipped. That was a bit much. I can't think of any poems, etc. that aren't central to the WoT story, with the prophecies and whatnot.
     
  15. elmaethor

    elmaethor

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    I think half as long is a bit hyperbolic but I don't disagree. So saying, I've always tended to overlook bad writing (not that this is bad writing, I'm just commenting on a hypothetical) if plot and storytelling and characterization outweighs it. And WoT does that by a mile.
     
  16. The Gambler Matrim

    The Gambler Matrim

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    Not a 100% sure but I believe authors have to have a minimum amount of words to even get published in certain genres, with the amount of words and genres differing. Obviously RJ was an established author in fantasy in the latter books and he could of cut alot out but every book needs some filler.