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Author Topic: Goodreads Troll - Words of Radiance  (Read 6755 times)

Offline Raptori

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Re: Goodreads Troll - Words of Radiance
« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2015, 06:18:09 AM »
Yeah, I very much did this as well. I can't count the number of times viewpoints were switched and I found myself thinking 'Can't we go back to Shallan/Dalinar?"

Also, I'm really not fond of Kaladin's wangsting. Yes, it's understandable considering his traumatic past, but after a while it becomes less sympathetic and more irritating, especially when it leads him to make obviously stupid moves.
I couldn't stand Shallan in the first book, then in the second she was better for most of it. Kaladin would've been a great character if his arc had progressed faster I think, so in other words if the books had been 1/2 to 2/3 of the length. Dalinar and Adolin were slightly better - probably because they had less screen time - and ones like Szeth with practically no screen time were far more interesting.  :-\
I wasn't fond of Shallan early in the first book, but I became more and more interested in her as she attempted to get her wardship from Jasnah and the consequences. By the second, her viewpoint ended up being the one I enjoyed the most by a fair chunk. She even made Kaladin's angsting bearable when the two were stuck together.
I think I enjoyed her viewpoint more than Kaladin's in the second book, but I didn't in the first book even towards the end iirc. It definitely improved as it went on, but I didn't like her at all.  :-\

As for Kaladin, I don't think my issue with him is so much his character arc progressing too slowly. My problem is with the way that his development goes backwards. For me, the best moment of his emotional arc was
Spoiler for Hiden:
when he was on the verge of committing suicide and jumping into the chasm, before deciding against it and choosing to reform Bridge 4 instead.
That should've been the turning point in his development where he chooses to stop angsting about his past and do something about it. But the problem is that after a while, he starts slipping back into his old angsting routines again and, instead of us feeling sympathetic, we just start to think 'haven't we done all this already'? It felt like Sanderson was undoing Kaladin's development just to draw out drama. And that just annoyed me. 
Yah that was really irritating. Worst part for me:
Spoiler for Hiden:
when Syl disappears (and the parts leading up to that).
I get why he included it, but it was just painfully drawn out - and not in a good way.

Also, I'll admit I'm not the fondest of Szeth. Not to say I dislike him but, from the bits we've got, he just seems a bit too lifeless and brooding to get my attention. I'm glad Sanderson didn't bulk out his parts otherwise I think they would've been fairly boring. Sure, he becomes a bit more interesting when he's having his meltdown towards the end and I'm kind of curious in seeing where they go with him next, but I'd hardly call him a favourite of mine at the moment.
I think it's his situation that makes me interested, he's got far more internal conflict than any Sanderson character I can think of. It could easily fall apart once his story is explored properly though.
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Offline Rukaio_Alter

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Re: Goodreads Troll - Words of Radiance
« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2015, 07:14:16 AM »
I wasn't fond of Shallan early in the first book, but I became more and more interested in her as she attempted to get her wardship from Jasnah and the consequences. By the second, her viewpoint ended up being the one I enjoyed the most by a fair chunk. She even made Kaladin's angsting bearable when the two were stuck together.
I think I enjoyed her viewpoint more than Kaladin's in the second book, but I didn't in the first book even towards the end iirc. It definitely improved as it went on, but I didn't like her at all.  :-\
I think my issues with her in the early parts of Book 1 though had more to do with her situation and goals rather than her character itself. It's difficult to immediately sympathise with a character whose stated goals are to cheat and steal from another character (who first appears using her soulcaster to save lives) for a not-entirely-noble cause. That said, as the book went on and more of her actual character shone through, I became more interested in her. Especially, when her snarky determinator aspects began to shine through. I'm fond of snarky characters. Hence why I love Wit/Hoid. That and she kept her angsting to a tolerable level, even when in situations where it could easily have gone overboard (like her uncertainty about betraying Jasnah.)

Honestly, I think part of the reason her sections improved so much in Book 2 was because she was able to go out on her own, away from Jasnah or any prominent guiding figure, and let her own character and personality shine more. Admittedly, the method used for getting her on her own was clunky at best, but I digress. In addition, unlike Kaladin (and to a lesser extent Dalinar) she didn't backtrack on the lessons she had learned on that trip and kept that independent, self-confident streak through the latter half of the book.

Then again, I suppose it may just be a case of different strokes. There are a lot of elements to her character that personally appeal more to me than they might for other people. I enjoy witty characters. I enjoy the timid character growing out of her shell. I enjoy characters who are passionate about what they're learning and so on.

Also, I'll admit I'm not the fondest of Szeth. Not to say I dislike him but, from the bits we've got, he just seems a bit too lifeless and brooding to get my attention. I'm glad Sanderson didn't bulk out his parts otherwise I think they would've been fairly boring. Sure, he becomes a bit more interesting when he's having his meltdown towards the end and I'm kind of curious in seeing where they go with him next, but I'd hardly call him a favourite of mine at the moment.
I think it's his situation that makes me interested, he's got far more internal conflict than any Sanderson character I can think of. It could easily fall apart once his story is explored properly though.
I can understand that but for me, an interesting situation doesn't mean much if the character himself isn't very interesting. Szeth simply acts too much like an emotionless shell (with the occasional moment of brooding) for me to be that interested in him. Certainly, I can see that changing in the third book, considering his breakdown, but I can't honestly say I ever looked forward to his parts in the first two books. I was far more interested in
Spoiler for Hiden:
Taravingian and what he was doing
than any of Szeth's self-reflections.
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Spoiler for Hiden:
Also, <Insert GOD EMPEROR OF THE WRITING CONTEST joke here>

Offline Raptori

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Re: Goodreads Troll - Words of Radiance
« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2015, 07:35:05 AM »
I wasn't fond of Shallan early in the first book, but I became more and more interested in her as she attempted to get her wardship from Jasnah and the consequences. By the second, her viewpoint ended up being the one I enjoyed the most by a fair chunk. She even made Kaladin's angsting bearable when the two were stuck together.
I think I enjoyed her viewpoint more than Kaladin's in the second book, but I didn't in the first book even towards the end iirc. It definitely improved as it went on, but I didn't like her at all.  :-\
I think my issues with her in the early parts of Book 1 though had more to do with her situation and goals rather than her character itself. It's difficult to immediately sympathise with a character whose stated goals are to cheat and steal from another character (who first appears using her soulcaster to save lives) for a not-entirely-noble cause. That said, as the book went on and more of her actual character shone through, I became more interested in her. Especially, when her snarky determinator aspects began to shine through. I'm fond of snarky characters. Hence why I love Wit/Hoid. That and she kept her angsting to a tolerable level, even when in situations where it could easily have gone overboard (like her uncertainty about betraying Jasnah.)

Honestly, I think part of the reason her sections improved so much in Book 2 was because she was able to go out on her own, away from Jasnah or any prominent guiding figure, and let her own character and personality shine more. Admittedly, the method used for getting her on her own was clunky at best, but I digress. In addition, unlike Kaladin (and to a lesser extent Dalinar) she didn't backtrack on the lessons she had learned on that trip and kept that independent, self-confident streak through the latter half of the book.

Then again, I suppose it may just be a case of different strokes. There are a lot of elements to her character that personally appeal more to me than they might for other people. I enjoy witty characters. I enjoy the timid character growing out of her shell. I enjoy characters who are passionate about what they're learning and so on.
My biggest problem was that she was constantly thinking "I'm so shy and timid" and stuff like that, when the entire time she was the polar opposite. I remember finding it really irritating that there wasn't a single moment where she was anything but bold, smart-mouthed, and independent right from the beginning even though that was clearly supposed to be her character arc (she starts the book joking with sailors while on a bold solo voyage to steal from a princess - doesn't sound like someone timid to me!). I prefer characters that grow but in her case it didn't feel like growth at all, more like the author trying to pull a fast one on the readers.

I'd probably love Wit/Hoid too, but he feels like a poor man's Fool to me! Plus I rarely find any of Sanderson's witty characters' dialogue to be witty at all, which puts a bit of a damper on that... :D

If you outline the character she was supposed to be, and how she was supposed to develop then yeah she'd be a great character. But for me the execution just did not work, unfortunately. Definitely feels like characterisation is Sanderson's weak point  :-\

Also, I'll admit I'm not the fondest of Szeth. Not to say I dislike him but, from the bits we've got, he just seems a bit too lifeless and brooding to get my attention. I'm glad Sanderson didn't bulk out his parts otherwise I think they would've been fairly boring. Sure, he becomes a bit more interesting when he's having his meltdown towards the end and I'm kind of curious in seeing where they go with him next, but I'd hardly call him a favourite of mine at the moment.
I think it's his situation that makes me interested, he's got far more internal conflict than any Sanderson character I can think of. It could easily fall apart once his story is explored properly though.
I can understand that but for me, an interesting situation doesn't mean much if the character himself isn't very interesting. Szeth simply acts too much like an emotionless shell (with the occasional moment of brooding) for me to be that interested in him. Certainly, I can see that changing in the third book, considering his breakdown, but I can't honestly say I ever looked forward to his parts in the first two books. I was far more interested in
Spoiler for Hiden:
Taravingian and what he was doing
than any of Szeth's self-reflections.
Yeah I suppose my view of him is coloured mostly by the breakdown, it's definitely more a case of seeing the potential for a great story there than him having been compelling so far. Taravangian was definitely an interesting character, should be interesting to see what happens with him in the later books. :)
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Offline Rukaio_Alter

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Re: Goodreads Troll - Words of Radiance
« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2015, 08:32:40 AM »
My biggest problem was that she was constantly thinking "I'm so shy and timid" and stuff like that, when the entire time she was the polar opposite. I remember finding it really irritating that there wasn't a single moment where she was anything but bold, smart-mouthed, and independent right from the beginning even though that was clearly supposed to be her character arc (she starts the book joking with sailors while on a bold solo voyage to steal from a princess - doesn't sound like someone timid to me!). I prefer characters that grow but in her case it didn't feel like growth at all, more like the author trying to pull a fast one on the readers.
I'll admit, that's an interesting point. However, I'm wondering how much of that is actually simply because we spend most of our time seeing her from her own viewpoint rather than from someone elses. It's perfectly possible for someone to inwardly seem bold, smart-mouthed and independent, but on the outside be much more shy and timid (honestly, I'm kinda like that myself). And, considering most of these scenes are from Shallan's viewpoint, it's only natural that the former qualities shine through largely in the narration. However, paying attention to what she actually does, rather than merely thinks, does support the idea of her being fairly timid on the outside (aside from the occasional slip which is usually explained (such as her being used to the sailors) or lampshaded) and, at the very least, she's hesitant when she acts independently until her development in Book 2, which is less about her become more confident and more about her learning to express her inner confidence more.

Of course, by the time we actually do get someone else's perspective on her (in the latter half of Book 2), she's largely grown out of that so it's difficult to tell.

I will say though, she's definitely too confident in her Book 2 flashbacks. Speaking of, I'm not fond of the flashbacks in either books. (Which is ironic, considering I use lengthy flashbacks in my own book which usually turn out among my favourite bits.) I think the issue here is that we already know exactly where they're going long before they start and they really don't add much in the way of characterisation or development to our protagonists. At best they establish side characters, most of whom have yet to appear again (although that's almost certain to change in Book 3). That and they have far too much filler.

I'd probably love Wit/Hoid too, but he feels like a poor man's Fool to me! Plus I rarely find any of Sanderson's witty characters' dialogue to be witty at all, which puts a bit of a damper on that... :D
Eh, different strokes I suppose. I'll admit, having a largely Butcherian style of humour, it took me a while to get used to Sanderson's style, but I still enjoyed it. Admittedly, he did go overboard at a few moments and some of the lines were a bit dodgy, but he made me laugh and endeared me to the jokers, so I guess it fulfilled its purpose..
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Spoiler for Hiden:
Also, <Insert GOD EMPEROR OF THE WRITING CONTEST joke here>

Offline Raptori

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Re: Goodreads Troll - Words of Radiance
« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2015, 08:43:08 AM »
My biggest problem was that she was constantly thinking "I'm so shy and timid" and stuff like that, when the entire time she was the polar opposite. I remember finding it really irritating that there wasn't a single moment where she was anything but bold, smart-mouthed, and independent right from the beginning even though that was clearly supposed to be her character arc (she starts the book joking with sailors while on a bold solo voyage to steal from a princess - doesn't sound like someone timid to me!). I prefer characters that grow but in her case it didn't feel like growth at all, more like the author trying to pull a fast one on the readers.
I'll admit, that's an interesting point. However, I'm wondering how much of that is actually simply because we spend most of our time seeing her from her own viewpoint rather than from someone elses. It's perfectly possible for someone to inwardly seem bold, smart-mouthed and independent, but on the outside be much more shy and timid (honestly, I'm kinda like that myself). And, considering most of these scenes are from Shallan's viewpoint, it's only natural that the former qualities shine through largely in the narration. However, paying attention to what she actually does, rather than merely thinks, does support the idea of her being fairly timid on the outside (aside from the occasional slip which is usually explained (such as her being used to the sailors) or lampshaded) and, at the very least, she's hesitant when she acts independently until her development in Book 2, which is less about her become more confident and more about her learning to express her inner confidence more.

Of course, by the time we actually do get someone else's perspective on her (in the latter half of Book 2), she's largely grown out of that so it's difficult to tell.

I will say though, she's definitely too confident in her Book 2 flashbacks. Speaking of, I'm not fond of the flashbacks in either books. (Which is ironic, considering I use lengthy flashbacks in my own book which usually turn out among my favourite bits.) I think the issue here is that we already know exactly where they're going long before they start and they really don't add much in the way of characterisation or development to our protagonists. At best they establish side characters, most of whom have yet to appear again (although that's almost certain to change in Book 3). That and they have far too much filler.
Yeah it's definitely possible, but what I remember is her actions being bold, smart-mouthed and independent, while inwardly she was all those things but constantly telling herself that she wasn't. Think that's why it rang false for me - I don't think anyone who is shy and introverted would have acted in the ways that she did, so the personality that came across from her thoughts and actions didn't mesh with what we were being told her personality was. Kinda like saying it's a boiling hot day, then showing characters shivering and putting on coats and woolly hats  :P

That's a good point too - considering how important the flashbacks are to the books, they're surprisingly uninteresting and don't usually add much other than explaining a few plot devices. When done right they can be great though, although I can't think of any books that do it well right now...!

I'd probably love Wit/Hoid too, but he feels like a poor man's Fool to me! Plus I rarely find any of Sanderson's witty characters' dialogue to be witty at all, which puts a bit of a damper on that... :D
Eh, different strokes I suppose. I'll admit, having a largely Butcherian style of humour, it took me a while to get used to Sanderson's style, but I still enjoyed it. Admittedly, he did go overboard at a few moments and some of the lines were a bit dodgy, but he made me laugh and endeared me to the jokers, so I guess it fulfilled its purpose..
Yeah probably. I do find Sanderson's jokes funny occasionally, but it falls flat when characters are meant to be intelligent and/or witty and they don't come across that way to me. Another example of that is the Ender saga, where all the geniuses supposed to save the world act like a bunch of idiots a lot of the time.  :D
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