I Hate You Wheel Of Time

In college I had a part time job as a security guard, which meant hours upon hours of sitting around not doing a single thing.  My boss at the time suggested I check out Robert Jordan’s Wheel Of Time series.  I wasn’t, and am still not, a huge fan of the fantasy genre but since my boss and a few of the people I worked with were reading the series I decided to give it a try.  About half way through the first book I was hooked and it felt like the first time I had discovered the combination of peanut butter and jelly, but to keep with a horrible analogy by book six I suddenly became allergic to peanut butter.

I believe Wheel Of Time suffered from something I like to call, “Holy Shit These People Really Like My Series And I Am Making A Lot Of Money, But I Only Planned For This To Be About Four Books Long, So I Guess I Better Spread The Story Along So I Can Make A Bunch More Books -itis“.  The first3-4 books were great and seemed to come to a logical conclusion until suddenly the big evil turned out NOT to be the big evil because there was a bigger evil!

With each story more characters were introduced and for some reason we had to follow their storylines until you could go through an entire book and realize that the “main character” had only accomplished the equivalent of finishing his morning coffee and then the story was over.

Also the author Robert Jordan LOVED his descriptions.  So much so that pages would go by where the only thing the reader was doing is reading the description of the room and what everyone was wearing.

Robert Jordan unfortunately died before he could finish the Wheel Of Time series but I was told that someone is finishing for him.  I cannot say for certain because I jumped off the Wheel Of Time train a long time ago.

I can understand if it seems as if I am being mean and hateful, because I am.  I felt like this series had a ton of promise and could have been something great, but that greatness careened off a cliff never to be seen again.  I use this series as a prime example of knowing the story you want to tell and doing it in a timely manner.  Not doing so can take a great story and turn it into crap, and then pouring that crap onto the heads of your dedicated fans.

Bitching and complaining over……………for now

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Filed under Writing

16 responses to “I Hate You Wheel Of Time

  1. I completely understand what you’re saying. I am currently working on a series of YA novels dealing with witches, vampires, the modern schtick today (but not due to the popularity but because of my love for this subject). ANYHOW, the series, if I go by my plans correctly, will most likely be 5 series with 5 books each. So 25 novels altogether to tell the story. Now, so far, with the way I’ve written the first one, and the way I plan to write the others, they should be short, mostly novellas released most likely as an ebook. But yeah, I worry about spreading this too thing. Then, I find the areas where they lack and I come up with awesome ways to create filler. HOWEVER, I know how the story ends and I don’t plan on going farther than that.

    • I think that is the biggest difference is ACCEPTING when the story is going to end. I’m pretty sure Mr. Jordan had an ending in mind then due to the popularity decided to postpone it. I think the reader should be left wanting more, not wanting it to end which is how I felt before I gave up on the series..

  2. so, we shouldn’t crap all over our fans? Hmmm, ok, I better write that down somewhere! : ) The sad thing is, if you do become famous, there is that horrible fear that you won’t be famous anymore. That’s why a lot of famous people are on drugs. They can’t handle it. It’s too much. That’s why I’m roughing out a series of planets and locals so if it gets stale, whoosh! off to another place. The first book should be ready in 90 years or so LOL.

    • LOL
      I think the best writers are the ones who just worry about the story & ignore everything else. I’m sure it’s harder on series b/c they take longer to write & in between you have fans complaining about what happened b/c it is not how they would have done it.
      And if you get yours done in 90 years you will end up beating me by a span of 10 or 11 years 🙂

  3. It’s funny, my Boss also suggested that series to me years ago, but as I wasn’t much of a Reader, I never checked it out.

    But I totally agree with you about not stretching a story out, just ask the Creators of “Terra Nova”… Who actually took a “Not that Great” Story, and stretched out their Season Finally over 2 Hours of absolute Pain, lol… I really hope that show is dead, lol <–a glimpse at something I ranted about at some point

    But, to stretch out an Actual "Good" Story, now that truly is a Crime…


  4. I read the first book but stopped there. The writer that’s finishing the series is Brandon Sanderson. Jordan hand picked him to finish them based on Sanderson’s books.

    After reading the first book I couldn’t read the second, Jordan gets too into his description. It was a good book, but I don’t need three pages to tell me what a flower looks like. Great post!

  5. Bite your tongue sir, bite it!

    If you push through it and break into where Brandon Sanderson took over, it brings everything back around.

    Come on, trust me. I wouldn’t lie to you. You can trust a guy who thinks codpieces should be back in fashion.

    • I would be lying if I said I wasn’t interested in how the story ends. I loved some of the characters and the overall story, I just hated that it seemed stuck in a perpetual purgatory.

  6. Well said, Taurean, I’ve never read WHEEL OF TIME, but it’s a damn shame when a writer strikes it lucky and then stretches out the series – presumably just to make more money. (You didn’t say, Frank, whether you found those later books – p’raps 4 and 5, I don’t know – dragging as Taurean suggests.)

    • No they drag for sure. Even the fanboys (except die hards) will admit it. It can be tedious to read about the economic history of a village when the big bad guy is attacking people like a pissed off Godzilla.
      However he didn’t do it for money, at least not the majority of the reason why. He got lost and wrapped up in his world. He wanted everybody live in detail in the wonderful world he created.
      That is the pitfall of long running epics, regardless of genre.

  7. I can’t think of a series I’ve read that hasn’t disappointed me. I feel your pain… 😐

    • Ouch, I guess that is a little true. A good series should leave you wanting more and most of the series I have finished I was glad to see end. Now I’m depressed :-p

  8. mredder4

    The closer we get to the end, the more I realize what poorly written nerd-boy wish fulfillment this series has been, pretty much from the start. The guys are all taller than everyone, the female characters that the men get (with very little in the way of courting; most relationships in the book are “destined”) are all taller than everyone and conveniently gorgeous and wealthy. (Seriously, the three original main characters all marry royalty.) The magic system is not complex to describe, so it becomes boring to read about. Their problems are not really problems so much as inconveniences. “We have to go here, so let’s go. OK, here we are. [Stuff Happens Inexplicably]” The female characters are also caricatures: an endless barrage of sniffing, skirt-straightening, and disparaging comments in a way that no one would find anything less than insanely rude. The villains are ridiculously inept, at least for beings thousands of years old with knowledge no one alive currently possesses. There are waaaaay too many background characters being kept around, but also random chapters from the perspective of people never heard from before nor seen again. What started out as a good short trilogy got milked into this 14-text, 3-prequel, 1 world guide (plus a graphic novel adaption) monstrosity. If I weren’t intent on getting the ending I’ve been promised, I’d walk away, but like most fans, I’m under Jordan’s despicable Compulsion to finish reading. Luckily I can steal the books in e-format now, so his estate doesn’t get more of my money.

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