Author Topic: Correcting Brandon (and Howard and Dan) (or, why they are SO wrong ;p)  (Read 4685 times)

Peter Ahlstrom

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Sigh. You're missing the point. Of course Brandon is not Tolkien. He nevertheless has a valid point about him from the point of view of a novelist.
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fardawg

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Sigh. You're missing the point. Of course Brandon is not Tolkien. He nevertheless has a valid point about him from the point of view of a novelist.

Yeesh. Now you're missing the point  ::) I already said that I agree that a novelist shouldn't do what Tolkien did (since they have different goals and the Silmarillion was not background for a novel)  and that Brandon is right about worldbuilders disease being a problem. Once again, it is not valid if it is a misrepresentation of what Tolkien was trying to do. They have completely different goals and motivations; that was the point of comparing them; not simply that they are different people. You can't act as if Tolkien wasted time worldbuilding for a novel he never meant to write while writing the stories that he did mean to write! Its completely illogical. He did however have Eternal Rewrite Syndrome. I'm not trying to be a Tolkien apologist; I'm just trying to be make it clear as to what his motives were and dispel misconceptions.
See my last response to dhalagirl. Is it valid for the hypothetical critics to accuse her of having WBD?

Have you read everything I wrote (I'm not being a jerk; it happens)? This should have all been clear by now. Sometimes I am overly verbose and people skip half of what I write. I don't blame them.  ;)
« Last Edit: June 13, 2011, 01:48:25 PM by fardawg »

happyman

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Sigh. You're missing the point. Of course Brandon is not Tolkien. He nevertheless has a valid point about him from the point of view of a novelist.

Yeesh. Now you're missing the point  ::) I already said that I agree that a novelist shouldn't do what Tolkien did (since they have different goals and the Silmarillion was not background for a novel)  and that Brandon is right about worldbuilders disease being a problem. Once again, it is not valid if it is a misrepresentation of what Tolkien was trying to do. They have completely different goals and motivations; that was the point of comparing them; not simply that they are different people. You can't act as if Tolkien wasted time worldbuilding for a novel he never meant to write while writing the stories that he did mean to write! Its completely illogical. He did however have Eternal Rewrite Syndrome. I'm not trying to be a Tolkien apologist; I'm just trying to be make it clear as to what his motives were and dispel misconceptions.
See my last response to dhalagirl. Is it valid for the hypothetical critics to accuse her of having WBD?

Have you read everything I wrote (I'm not being a jerk; it happens)? This should have all been clear by now. Sometimes I am overly verbose and people skip half of what I write. I don't blame them.  ;)

Doesn't matter what Tolkien did or why he did it.  All that matters is that you shouldn't imitate him or do what it looks like he did (even if it isn't) if you want to get your book published within your lifetime.

And that's Brandon's point.  What Tolkien did or why he did it is irrelevant.  Which is the point you are missing.
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Peter Ahlstrom

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Exactly. (And I already said I agreed with fardawg that Tolkien's motivations were not those of a novelist.)
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fardawg

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"Doesn't matter what Tolkien did or why he did it....What Tolkien did or why he did it is irrelevant.  Which is the point you are missing."

Sorry, but yes it does. Context matters! I have said repeatedly that novelists shouldn't spend too much time on worldbuilding. How exactly am I missing the point? I'm really starting to think you guys aren't reading everything I am writing. I keep clarifying and then you tell me I don't get it.

Look at my last response to dhalagirl (bellow). Tell me if the hypothetical critics are right.

Quote
Imagine writing an epic book that you loved with a passion but nobody wanted it because it wasn't "modern" enough. You then wrote a silly short story for your kids that had tiny bits of your real book in it and that got published. Then you finally get the real book published (or you die and one of your kids publishes it) and people think it was worldbuilding for the @#$& kids book! Not only that, but they criticize you for "wasting time" on all that "worldbuilding" instead of writing more sequels to the "real book"!!! Congratulations, you now have a small taste of how Tolkien felt. 

Then imagine people saying that it doesn't matter if the critics misrepresented you because their "narrative" was right.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2011, 06:56:55 PM by fardawg »

Peter Ahlstrom

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You say novelists shouldn't spend too much time on worldbuilding. We say novelists shouldn't spend too much time on worldbuilding.

You say Tolkien had a different motivation for writing his earlier stuff. We say Tolkien had a different motivation for writing his earlier stuff.

Looks like we agree completely. End of conversation.
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Tortellini

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I agree with Peter, people have stated their opinions and it may be best to just leave it at that.

Don't be this guy:
http://xkcd.com/386/
 ;)

dhalagirl

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Why is it that any discussion of Tolkien sooner or later turns into a pointless heated debate?  It's like talking about religion and politics during Thanksgiving dinner. 

fardawg

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Its not heated from my side. That's why I use smileys  ;D I've had fun myself.  Though it is frustrating when you are told you don't get it when you have said over and over and over that you do.
The only thing we don't seem to agree on is that Brandon Sanderson can make mistakes.  :o
I said all along that I agreed that WB can be a problem. Bottom line, I just wanted to make it clear that Brandon gave the wrong impression and that we shouldn't hold Tolkien to a false standard (I would say the same if someone did it to Brandon). I have no problem saying that Tolkien had Eternal Rewrite Syndrome (I think I'm the first to use Syndrome  ???). I would say the Sanderson fans (I'm a casual fan as I know him more from WE - I haven't read much of his yet - remedying that) are the ones who don't want him to have made a mistake.  ;)  ;D

You are all cool in my book.  8)

If a little fanatical  ;D

Mike

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Why is it that any discussion of Tolkien sooner or later turns into a pointless heated debate?  It's like talking about religion and politics during Thanksgiving dinner. 

Perhaps we should coin Dhalagirl's Corrolary to Godwin's law?

fardawg

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Perhaps we should coin Dhalagirl's Corrolary to Godwin's law?

What are you, some kind of Nazi sympathizer? They thought Hitler couldn't make a mistake either?!?!? Oh, and he was a Worldbuilder too!  >:(  Wait...  ???

« Last Edit: June 14, 2011, 07:26:38 PM by fardawg »

Creative_Vortx

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Perhaps we should coin Dhalagirl's Corrolary to Godwin's law?

What are you, some kind of Nazi sympathizer? They thought Hitler couldn't make a mistake either?!?!? Oh, and he was a Worldbuilder too!  >:(  Wait...  ???

Did you just compare Brandon and Hitler?
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Peter Ahlstrom

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Of course Brandon can make mistakes. Have you heard him try to pronounce denouement?
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fardawg

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Of course Brandon can make mistakes. Have you heard him try to pronounce denouement?

I've heard him try to pronounce many things. I am a fan of writing excuses you know.   :P  My favorite was when he was reading Dan's first novel (or is that nozzle?) and tried to pronounce scrupulously and thought it was  scrumptiously. That one had me on the floor.    ;D


Did you just compare Brandon and Hitler?

It's about time someone did. This topic thread is long enough, don't you think?  :P


You did get the reference, right?  :o
« Last Edit: June 20, 2011, 02:31:50 PM by fardawg »

Jason R. Peters

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I think Peter summed this up succinctly when he said that if a writer emulates Tolkien for the sake of world-building, he doesn't have "world-builders' disease" as it is currently understood (and described by Brandon) as a problem for novelists.

I even hesitate to use the word "writer" in the above sentence, because when I am world-building for dungeon mastering, I don't consider myself a writer. I consider myself a world-builder, similar (but far less skilled) to Tolkien.

If a would-be novelist emulates Tolkien out of a misguided belief that he must have complete mythology, background, history, or even character history in place before putting pen to paper, he has world-builder's disease.

Tolkien may not have had the "disease" in that it was a problem for Tolkien -- I believe that is Fardawg's primary point here -- but Tolkien did have worldbuilders' disease as understood by the modern novelist -- which is Brandon's and Peter's point.

It's also worth noting, with all due respect to the man, that Tolkien's own opinion of his "true" work was not a realistic assessment of the marketplace. How true of most new authors this is. Yet it's equally true today that a novel within a customized fantasy setting is far more marketable than a rulebook for a customized fantasy setting.

I know, I know, how dare the editors and Fan Dumb define true art. Right?
« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 12:37:31 AM by Jason R. Peters »