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Offline The Author Guy  
#21 Posted : Monday, June 8, 2015 7:07:29 PM(UTC)
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I am trying very hard to not change character perspective without changing scene.

A scene change has different location and people.

In the quick editing, I have seen a couple places where this is a small change in perspective between two characters...I want to fix that, but that I expect to happen in beta.

So scene change and perspective change are ~ on their own line.
Offline The Author Guy  
#22 Posted : Monday, June 8, 2015 7:08:32 PM(UTC)
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Also my motto for the last few months has been

If I have time to read, then I have time to write...so write is right!
Offline Astra19  
#23 Posted : Tuesday, June 9, 2015 3:40:24 AM(UTC)
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I find that just stating the date at the beginning of the chapter "Chapter 31 Infiernan-Vulcus submissive 13 Anday" works pretty well but then the date's and time could change depending on the realm and when you switch characters who's location is on the other side of the world it could start to become a huge mess....

Sorry shouldn't of said anything

Edited by user Tuesday, June 9, 2015 3:42:15 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline The Author Guy  
#24 Posted : Tuesday, June 9, 2015 3:47:37 AM(UTC)
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Why shouldn't you have said anything? Love the feedback!

That's basically what I am going to do at various points, but I'm including another tracker called DOF +n

Where "DOF" means "Day of Fight" (which was in the morning) So the first few chapters are DOF, then DOF+1, DOF+2
And then I give the date in numeric format so

DOF +9
Evening (Oorstemoth) 16-06-440



I only start adding () locations once characters get into different timezones in Astlan. If it's on a different plane, such as Etterdam or Ithgar I just say (Etterdam) or (Ithgar) since I haven't posted any maps of those worlds and so nobody know where any place is on those planes.

Offline Rosver  
#25 Posted : Tuesday, June 9, 2015 6:43:49 AM(UTC)
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Well, I'm not very particular about dates, I don't tend to tract them anyway. I just need a fuzzy indication of time, like a few days has past or it was about noon, etc. Though I think a very clear date and time should be stamped on important events like festivals, holidays, and birthdays. Would also be helpful if a more detailed date and time clues is given if there are time crucial events like meetings.
Offline The Author Guy  
#26 Posted : Tuesday, June 9, 2015 1:43:33 PM(UTC)
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The one thing about critical times and meeting dates is that everything in the worlds we are dealing with are rather inexact.

I do know that Barabus has a pocket watch, one presumes Heron does as well because as Generals/Admirals they need to be precise on times and actions. But very few others have good time keeping capability.

The Abyss is the worst of course with no sun or stars to even track. The courts divide the day into 6 periods.

But I found that kind of freeing. "Begining of the Fifth Period" or "Late second period"

Edited by user Tuesday, June 9, 2015 1:44:06 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline Threefinger  
#27 Posted : Tuesday, June 9, 2015 1:54:42 PM(UTC)
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You could always rough out an Astlan calendar to stick in the front or back of the books, that could be fun. Maybe sell full size calendars for people to buy, people will buy weird things sometimes, of course that would require an artist to make pictures for each month and might turn into an absolute nightmare.
Offline The Author Guy  
#28 Posted : Tuesday, June 9, 2015 4:30:04 PM(UTC)
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You know...Animus, the sort of never really lived dice based RPG that used Astlan as it's world (and for which I created the magic system and world) used to issue calendars with artwork. My codesigner of the game was, at the time, heavily involved in a school with a good art program so he went around recruiting artists to do artwork for us.

Of course, it was pencil or colored pencil art at that time (stone ages)

I actually have a calendar thing with details in Excel, but I don't want to give stuff away in advance of reading it so...

One of the most traumatic things in fantasy history was the lineage charts in Katherine Kurtz's Deryni books.

If people think GRRM is bad, KK was worse.

She has this lineage of multiple families with birth and death dates. When it started, it was "the present" and all active characters had no death dates. However after the first trilogy she went back 200 years or so in time and started telling the story from then until the 'present'

So you had these beloved characters and you knew the year in which they were scheduled to die. It was gruesome because you'd get to the book in that year, and you'd be waiting around anxiously to see how the current protagonist died. e.g. King Javan's Year. On the chart he rules for 1 year...then kaput. So you kinda know where the book is going...

Now, on one of the first instances, the death was faked. So while the character died to the world, they continued on shape changed as someone else. You then kept hoping that your later favorite characters would be able to pull the same stunt, hoping against hope there was an escape clause in the lineage chart of death.

Offline Threefinger  
#29 Posted : Tuesday, June 9, 2015 9:10:25 PM(UTC)
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That sounds like a terrible idea, I was thinking more like a standard calendar with maybe the major holidays listed like you get, well, people used to get anyways, from stores. At least when GRRM kills off a character they don't tell you about it in previous books, although I have pretty much stopped reading his stuff. I don't care for waiting 5-6 years in between book releases and then having to pay through the nose for the next one when it finally gets released.

2 maybe 3 years for a moderately priced book or even 20-25$ for a hardcover copy of a book from a good author that does solid work is fine, but I can't stand waiting so long that I have to go back and reread the entire series to even know whats going on. Sometimes it feels like its an excuse to reuse plot twists and drag it out for 14 books when it could have been ended on 5 or 6.

I.E. Wheel of Time.
Offline The Author Guy  
#30 Posted : Tuesday, June 9, 2015 9:16:27 PM(UTC)
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Don't get me started on the WoT.

A series I loved so much at the beginning (I got the first edition Trade Paperback--it wasn't released in hardback widely, if at all, until book 2 came out, so people could have complete sets) and loved it and the first two or three. And then my god, was he ever going to wrap things up?

I quit around book 6 or so. I couldn't remember what was happening. Stopped reading them.

And of course, the answer was, he was not going to ever wrap things up. He croaked before he could.
Offline Threefinger  
#31 Posted : Tuesday, June 9, 2015 9:23:56 PM(UTC)
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yea they had to bring in another author to finish it, I was sorta lucky having started late in the release cycle and only had to wait for the last three books or so. I say sorta lucky because after I finished I realized that after book 5-6 you can effectively just jump to the last one, you miss out on some of the stuff but it just seemed like the same old stuff kept happening in slightly different ways, sometimes with different people involved. Finishing a series should never become a chore for the readers, I can see it getting rough on an author as you guys have to put in a lot of time and effort, but at some point you would think someone would mention that they could just cut out a couple books and cut to the chase so they can start on a fresh story.

Maybe this is a good use for beta readers? We will be there to be the guys that say whoa dude that happened already don't do it again just cuz its Rupert and not Tom.
Offline The Author Guy  
#32 Posted : Tuesday, June 9, 2015 9:57:24 PM(UTC)
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Yeah, that's important.

I hope to never get that bad. The real problem was that after years of obsuricty Jordan lucked into a giant cash cow. For him, his agent and the publisher.

The publisher really wanted him (I am sure) to just keep turning out "known" "salable" product that would generate a crap load of money for everyone.

He failed to resist.

Of course, one thing that probably helped nudge him down that path is that "ending a story" is very hard.

Wrapping up points and saying goodbye and getting closure is difficult.

LOTR did it, but that's one of the few that I can think of.

Tragedies are easy to end. The protagonist dies.
Romances are easy to end, cut it off at the wedding.

Everything else is trickier. In part, and i think this was on one of my Amazon threads, there is always 'another evil' out there to be defeated.

Anyway, spinning a story out huge is far easier than shutting it down/wrapping it up. And that's a problem for a lot of authors.

So my goal would be to end the current arc. The characters still live on (most/some) and may show up as background/minor characters in other stories.

I also have half finished stories completely unrelated to this that I want to get out there.

So back to endings. If GRRM's health starts to fail, I can pretty much guarantee the easiest course of action is to just have the White Walkers overrun Westeros and everything. There, wrapped up done. Don't care about all the machinations, everyone is dead. Goodbye.



Offline Threefinger  
#33 Posted : Tuesday, June 9, 2015 10:26:05 PM(UTC)
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Oh I don't mind multiple story arcs, even with the same characters being used, what I dislike is when it takes 15 books for them to defeat the main evil thing presented in the first book and the books are all 5 years apart. I can be pretty patient when waiting for a new book to come out. After all there are tons of them out there to read to fill the downtime between releases. However I feel that asking your readers to wait over 50 years to finally hear the end of your story is a bit much. If its more than one story, even recycling characters and the lands as long as the story itself is new I will read and enjoy it. Just look at Piers Anthony, he has written I think its over 40 books now or about to be around there, all of them in Xanth, all of them lighthearted and fun, filled with terrible puns, and a fresh story for each one.
Offline The Author Guy  
#34 Posted : Tuesday, June 9, 2015 10:34:12 PM(UTC)
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Yes, PA has enough irons in the fire that he can swap things to make fresh. It's not just one series

But I have noticed it works better with some of his series than others.

Many of his series start out insanely good and then sort of get to about average by book 5. If he keeps going, then he sometimes gets inspired and has a great one in the middle.

You can see these up and down "imagination momentum" arcs with Xanth.

Incarnations of Immortality started with his best book ever IMHO "On a Pale Horse" but then was puttering out by the end...

Jack Chalker was the same way.

Now to be fair to GRRM. A single book of his is about 500,000 words, twice the size of DoA Books 1 and 2 each (or together they are about 1 GRRM length book). So if I took 1.5 years to get a second book out, then he should get 3 years for a second book.

Of course, all he has to do is write and show up to conventions. I actually have a day job to pay the rent. So he should have 2x as much writing time as me.

HOWEVER...he's got a lot of really depressing crap going on. Depressing stuff is much harder to write than happy stuff.

I think this is one way that Piers Anthony churns out so many many books. His stuff is almost always light hearted, that makes it easier to both read and write.

Offline JMX  
#35 Posted : Tuesday, June 9, 2015 11:07:15 PM(UTC)
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I think Wot has been finished. I made it further but yeah at this point I would have to retread the whole series.
Offline Threefinger  
#36 Posted : Wednesday, June 10, 2015 12:50:45 AM(UTC)
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Yea WoT is finished, the point was just that it got spun out so long that Jordan passed away before the set was complete and they had to get another author to finish it. By the time Sanderson finished the series it just kind of felt like they were beating a dead horse to me. I had to go back and reread several of the books to remember what was going on and it felt lackluster at the end, which was probably at least in part the fact that it was another guy writing the final book that didn't have his life's work tied into it.

I totally understand that it can be hard to find a good stopping point, this story in particular seems like it would be pretty tough to find a good place to call it done what with the bringing in higher powers from multiple planes of existence and all that. At least you have the advantage of having a diverse set of interesting characters in a universe that is easy to immerse yourself in since you tied it into the actual world in a way people can identify with. You can probably find a comfortable stopping point for this story line and just flow into another one, maybe with different characters or from other people as the primary perspectives.

And don't sell yourself short either, GRRM may write books that have twice the word count but he takes 3-4 times the amount of time between releases as you have been aiming for and doesn't even have to deal with trying to write dialog for the Oorstemothians. I imagine that could cause headaches at times.
Offline The Author Guy  
#37 Posted : Wednesday, June 10, 2015 1:26:06 AM(UTC)
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Well, to be completely honest...Oorstemothian dialogue is my biggest dread for book iii.

They are doing lots of stuff behind the scenes in book ii (well traveling), so don't get as much dialogue time as last time....next book will be almost the reverse...
Offline Rosver  
#38 Posted : Wednesday, June 10, 2015 4:10:01 AM(UTC)
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Well, one very long series I known is Anne of Green Gables Series. Though it was a series, each book could be read independently from each other. Each book also has vastly different stories and major arcs. Maybe because it is not an adventure story that makes such diversity possible?

WoT doesn't interest me much when I fist see it, haven't read it, so can't really contribute. Though would you advice me to read it? Or it would just be a waste in the end?

I think you need to make a special dictiontionary for the Oorstemoths. LOL.
Offline The Author Guy  
#39 Posted : Wednesday, June 10, 2015 3:04:03 PM(UTC)
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If WoT didn't drive you to begin with, I wouldn't bother.

Although you could just read the first and leave it at that. He wrote the first book with a victory at the end in such a manner that if he didn't get many sales, it could end there. The second book reopens the case to demonstrate the 'victory' of book 1 was only the opening gambit in a much bigger story.

The problem is that it just keeps going and going and going and doesn't seem to get much of anywhere.

It could probably have been done in 4 books maybe 5. But he strung it out adding lots of filler for not a lot of good reason (plot wise). I was OK with it at first, thrilled a bit...but then the time between books got long and the books so complicated I couldn't remember who was who and what was what and ...

The Belgariad series by David Eddings is very similar

1.1 Pawn of Prophecy
1.2 Queen of Sorcery
1.3 Magician's Gambit
1.4 Castle of Wizardry
1.5 Enchanters' End Game

And it ends. Did I like individual parts of WoT better, yes. Is WoT a bit more Epic in scale? Yes. But in its entirety the Belgariad is not so bloated and it ends.


Offline Threefinger  
#40 Posted : Wednesday, June 10, 2015 4:01:07 PM(UTC)
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Yup, pretty much nailed WoT there. Another series like that is Goodkinds Sword of Truth, I enjoyed reading them but probably won't revisit the series, I wasn't happy with it lasting 14 books and then just ending all of a sudden. It went from feeling drawn out a bit too much to all of a sudden it's over and leaves you feeling kinda unsatisfied.
One gambit that I feel he overused but is still a good plot device was there were numerous times where one character needed information that another character had to solve something and while searching for a way to fix the problem would pass within a mile or two of the person that had the solution, missing each other entirely.

I did love the Belgariad though.
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