Do authors take their fans loyalty for granted?

SilentRoamer

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#81
I don't think historical accuracy and accuracy within a fully imagined world is all that different. For an author in a series, they have to cross reference everything that came before it. Just like a historical mistake, readers will call out an author for discrepancies in their own world.
That's a good point, but I think adherence to an internally formulated consistency is easier than adherence to an external and by extension infinitely more vast pre-existing consistency.

I think it's easier to write about the world in your head than write about a fully realized time/place and remain true to an accurate degree.

Your post does raise an interesting question though - does a lack of internal (or external) consistency show a lack of appreciation on the authors part if the reader knows their world better than they do?
 

thaddeus6th

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#82
I do wonder if it's just series fatigue.

Keeping everything coherent from the earlier entries whilst also still telling a complete story arc within the individual book gets progressively more complicated and tricky the more backstory you've got.

It's a bit like that blog I wrote for Mouse 73 years ago, in which I explained why Farscape was better than New Who.
 

The Big Peat

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#83
That's a good point, but I think adherence to an internally formulated consistency is easier than adherence to an external and by extension infinitely more vast pre-existing consistency.

I think it's easier to write about the world in your head than write about a fully realized time/place and remain true to an accurate degree.

Your post does raise an interesting question though - does a lack of internal (or external) consistency show a lack of appreciation on the authors part if the reader knows their world better than they do?
I'm not sure about lack of appreciation, but it is bloody irritating. Raymond E Feist, I'm looking at you.
 

night_wrtr

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#85
That's a good point, but I think adherence to an internally formulated consistency is easier than adherence to an external and by extension infinitely more vast pre-existing consistency.

I think it's easier to write about the world in your head than write about a fully realized time/place and remain true to an accurate degree.
This might boil down to something like: Is it easier to learn a sufficient amount of real-world history or to create a sufficient amount of one?

Your post does raise an interesting question though - does a lack of internal (or external) consistency show a lack of appreciation on the authors part if the reader knows their world better than they do?
Depends I think. If it is a complete disregard to the canon of the series? I'd say yes, because it means the author didn't care enough to work though inconsistencies. It reminds the reader that the story is fiction, and can be jarring enough to pull us out of the story altogether.

I think this is happening right now in a certain fandom that covers books and movies. : - )
 

Overread

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#86
I think any author writing a highly complex story is allowed a little leeway to make some story mistakes along the way. I think that we also accept that sometimes the first book has elements that shift and change through the subsequent ones; these are often little changes as the authors develop characters a little more, but can also be because a throw away interaction earlier presented a detail about a character that later was forgotten.

Ergo we are adaptive to little things.

It's when we get a LOT of little things that add up; or we get big events or the author appears to forget massive plot points. Those are when we start to have issues.


I would also say that when it comes to accuracy then the most important is accuracy within the book world even when it relates to reality. What the author presents should be what they stick to as accurate as that is the world we build in our minds eye. Any fiction that is based on reality is going to deviate at some point, esp as the story progresses. However if a story starts to fall apart within its own world then its the kind of jarring experience that can throw a readers interest and make them question if the author knew about their own world.



No book is perfect and if you look at books like the Bible then humans are quite capable of a scary number of inconsistent elements (although in fairness many don't read the Bible like a book and instead read it in a series of isolated segments so the story errors or oddities don't appear as apparent because the consistency of them isn't important)





As for those writing Epic stories I think one of the biggest problems for authors like Martin is that even if they have notes, when you write and publish as you go you can write yourself into a corner very easily. Because you can't just go back and remove that character who was in the wrong place; or who later wound up too weak/strong to be meaningful. Or just cut out that sub-plot because its tearing the rest of the story apart. You've got a printed fixed history that is hard to change. When you also deal with a very wide range of characters it gets even more complicated.


And yes I think burnout happens. It happens to us all. Those who create and who love the act of creating worlds and stories are likely to feel this all the more keenly because its not just a job to them. It's something they do care about and want to get right even if that means their fans have to wait longer and longer
 

SilentRoamer

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#87
But unfortunately not in a way that would see Mr Jordan back in this world. One of my favorite authors and favorite series despite obvious flaws. Also one of the reasons I will be forever grateful to Brandon Sanderson for getting it finished.

The wheel weaves as the wheel wills. :)
 

Parson

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#88
*coughs* Jean Auel took 31 years from the publication of the 1st Earth's Children book (Clan of the Cave Bear - 1980) to publication of the 6th and final book (Land of Painted Caves - 2011) - all of which were bestsellers. *coughs*.
I assume you are aware, but perhaps everyone is not, that the first 4 books were published (written?) in a 6 year period. The fifth book came out 4 years after that. Then the final book came out 21 years later. --- I always assumed that she had made a mint and lived a nice life for those 20 years before deciding to milk the cow once more.
 

MWagner

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#89
I assume you are aware, but perhaps everyone is not, that the first 4 books were published (written?) in a 6 year period. The fifth book came out 4 years after that. Then the final book came out 21 years later. --- I always assumed that she had made a mint and lived a nice life for those 20 years before deciding to milk the cow once more.
I only read the first three books in the series, so I don't remember - was the fifth book always planned to complete the narrative? Or was it added on after readers had assumed the series was finished?
 

The Bluestocking

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#90
Jordan and Martin are dealing with very complex plotlines and also writing books twice as big as anyone else's. Which mightn't explain Martin's delays, but can explain a lot about why Jordan was taking 2 years to finish most of his later WoT books
Yes, but so did Steven Erikson for MALAZAN and Tad Williams for his Epic Fantasy series. Ditto Robin Hobb.

There are many fantasy authors who write worlds and plotlines as complex as Martin's* and whose books are the size of doorsteps (or doorstops?)... and still deliver on deadline (or at least, if they are delayed, it's only by a year at most).

So not that good an excuse for not delivering the books as promised.

* Let's leave Jordan out of this because he did have a contingency plan to get the series done after his passing - one that was carried out and gave his fans closure.
 

Overread

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#91
Aye but then comes one critical element - few train as a writer.

In fact the vast majority of writers might learn the mechanics of English, but there's few schools on the art of writing stories. So when it comes to comparing skills, in part, we are comparing self taught skill sets and self imposed deadlines and self imposed elements. It's a far cry from trades like electrician or plumber where the person trains to a known minimum standard of performance.

Martin might just have lacked some skills, tools, methods etc.. that the other writers had. Hobb, for example, deals with a much smaller and tighter cast of characters; even when she writes Liveship books and has multiple viewpoints. She also keeps most of the characters within a series within a rough limited geographic region of her world. Her first two trilogies basically had nothing to do with each other directly save for one character. It wasn't until much later that she started mixing things up more so (even then she makes one of those early book changes with regard to the Rainwalds river and how its described at the end of her first series to what it turns out to be).

Erikson I think deals with a far bigger roster of characters and also timelines and world settings compared to Martin; however I get the feeling he might have had more detailed notes before writing his books. I think he also didn't have a change of heart - lets not forget Martin was going to have a 5 year time jump in his series that he wrote out - suddenly leaving him with young characters too young to do certain plot lines and a lot of old-power characters still hanging on. Plus a lack of stability and, above all, time to let certain elements settle.
 

The Bluestocking

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#92
Aye but then comes one critical element - few train as a writer.

In fact the vast majority of writers might learn the mechanics of English, but there's few schools on the art of writing stories. So when it comes to comparing skills, in part, we are comparing self taught skill sets and self imposed deadlines and self imposed elements. It's a far cry from trades like electrician or plumber where the person trains to a known minimum standard of performance.
True, but it's still possible to learn to stick to deadlines etc and to, as Chuck Wendig reminds novice writers, "finish your s***" (Chuck's expletive, not mine). Deadlines aren't exclusive to writing as a profession or art. Deadlines are there for a reason even if Douglas Adams once said that he could hear the sound of deadlines whooshing by as they flew past his head!

The authors who seem to be best at sticking to deadlines (and writing fast) are those who were journalists in their previous lives (e.g. Jonathan Maberry is an ex-journo who is an INSANELY fast Horror/SF/Thriller author whose JOE LEDGER books frequently reach 500 pages and maintain a punishing pace and tight control over plotlines and a sprawling case of characters who also crossover into other series that he writes. Gaiman started as a journalist too, then moved into comics where there are multiple deadlines throughout the year... and we don't hear about him missing a deadline for his novels unless something major happens to derail his writing schedule).

Erikson's MALAZAN world started as an RPG idea, if I remember correctly. He and Ian C. Esslemont made and kept copious notes of their story world - both of them trained as anthropologists so note-taking (and keeping) are part of their skill set. I did also mention earlier that when I once asked Erikson about how he managed to deliver such huge tomes on time, he said that he had a deadline from the publisher and he honoured that deadline. It was that simple... and that hard.
 

Boneman

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#93
Really? So, er, Rothfuss fibbed about having a complete trilogy ready to go? If this is true I don't wonder at fans getting irate with him...
Except he didn't fib... a first draft of a million words, which when he edited, got changed, characters added, characters deleted, plotlines changed and so on. Nobody's first draft gets published.
 

night_wrtr

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#94
Except he didn't fib... a first draft of a million words, which when he edited, got changed, characters added, characters deleted, plotlines changed and so on. Nobody's first draft gets published.
That's expected, but he specifically said readers wouldn't have to wait long between books because they were already written. I imagine after the success of the first book, he went back to the second and third, and then it started the entire writing process over again.
 

The Bluestocking

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#95
Except he didn't fib... a first draft of a million words, which when he edited, got changed, characters added, characters deleted, plotlines changed and so on. Nobody's first draft gets published.
Understood.

Though now I'm cringing inside on his behalf because I'm looking at this through a PR/publicist's* eyes and seeing how he shot himself in the foot reputation-wise by not being more cautious/circumspect about setting expectations...

Ah well...

*I used to be one and also used to work in the marketing department of a major publisher. Better to underpromise and overdeliver than overpromise and underdeliver.
 

Teresa Edgerton

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#99
That's a good point, but I think adherence to an internally formulated consistency is easier than adherence to an external and by extension infinitely more vast pre-existing consistency.
I would disagree with that, because with our external reality the consistency is already built-in (although not always immediately self-evident). If the author knows the place and time well enough they can select the puzzle pieces they want, instinctively choose the right ones, and voila! everything fits together. Whereas with an invented world any consistency is entirely the writer's responsibility.

But each writer faces his or her own challenges—and if life neglects to throw many our way early it generally remembers to throw in some extras later—and it's just really easy to discount the obstacles that may arise to plague other people ... until they happen to us.
 
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