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Discussions about books > Opinions on Series and what we as Readers want

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message 1: by Terry (last edited Nov 18, 2011 03:34PM) (new)

Terry Simpson | 261 comments So Brent Weeks wrote this in response to Neil Gaiman's statement some time ago to readers that George Martin isn't our bitch and the books will be out when they're out. I thought Weeks' opinion is spot on. We as readers do deserve for authors to write their books in a timely fashion, ESPECIALLY, if they promise when it will come out. If however you do Rothfuss and say the next book will be out in 100 years, cool, we know what to expect, but please don't pull a Martin. Revisiting "George Martin is not your bitch."
What's your take? What do you want?


message 2: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Lyons (amandamlyons) I dealt with waiting for The Dark Tower books as a teen and while I hate how long it takes I can also understand that things can get in the way. Of course I'm also a writer dealing with some on and off writer's block...Sometimes I do think that its also that the author is dragging their feet and editing for too long though as with authors like Jeffrey Deaver and Thomas Harris.


message 3: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments I read that article the other day nodding my head the entire time. Neil Gaiman - whom I have not read yet - may be a great writer but he's a total ass sometimes.

This is how I feel - if an author wants to do the contract = 1 book thing, they need to write stand alones. If they want me to buy into their series/over arching vision...then the contract ≠ 1 book because the story is ≠ 1 book.


message 4: by Traci (new)

Traci And please, please don't tell readers that the next book is done when you know it isn't. I could deal with an author who admits for whatever reason having writers block. But don't lie. Or be rude about it.


message 5: by carol., Senor Crabbypants (last edited Nov 18, 2011 06:29PM) (new)

carol. | 2616 comments I don't care how long a series takes to come out--if it's a good series with well written books. I prefer that the author doesn't promise "next book Dec. 2012" and then fail to meet the deadline, but it's not like I'm going to quit reading the author. Ilona Andrews is a good example for me--I like her Kate Daniels series a great deal. I've since found out the next book won't be out into 2013. No hard feelings--I know they are trying to keep a top quality storyline and have a lot of irons in the fire.

That said, I like Brent Week's rebuttal.


message 6: by Laurel (new)

Laurel I have to say that I can see merits to both arguments. Yes, Mr. Martin signed a contract and made a commitment. However, he is also getting older, may have some health issues. Not to mention, the pressure may have hindered Mr. Martin's ability to write a book to his usual top quality. I wish that we had shown him some of the understanding authors such as Scott Lynch have been given when struggling to finish a book. I want authors to be given as much support as possible, so that we as readers can continue to get such amazing pieces to read.

My two cents.


message 7: by Terry (new)

Terry Simpson | 261 comments Laurel wrote: "I have to say that I can see merits to both arguments. Yes, Mr. Martin signed a contract and made a commitment. However, he is also getting older, may have some health issues. Not to mention, th..."

I think a lot of the ire is because he was shown some understanding. He did promise the book for 2005. It came out in 2011. 6 years later. And he resolved nothing with it. Readers still support him, many do, but many are also frustrated. The worse part I think was the statement that Feast and Dragon would have been one but they were too long as one book. It gave the impression Dragon was practically written already.


message 8: by Mach (new)

Mach | 572 comments Martin made promises he did not keep that is what annoys me, totally agree with Weeks.


message 9: by Jean (new)

Jean Hontz (majkia) I see no merit in even discussing this. some folks will be angry no matter what, others of us just want good books when authors can get them to us.


message 10: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Terry wrote: "I think a lot of the ire is because he was shown some understanding. He did promise the book for 2005. It came out in 2011. 6 years later. And he resolved nothing with it. Readers still support him, many do, but many are also frustrated. The worse part I think was the statement that Feast and Dragon would have been one but they were too long as one book. It gave the impression Dragon was practically written already. "

That's my issue with authors who take forever to write a book. Stop talking about it! If you are not going to produce don't brag. GRRM would have caught a lot less flack if he wasn't writing blog posts about the cheeseburger he had for lunch, etc.

Have some professionalism. Just because you're an "artist" doesn't excuse you from being a business person. I would never promise something to a client that I could not produce - and you always under promise and over produce.


message 11: by Traci (new)

Traci Actually it's an important subject for fantasy fans. Look at what's happening with tv shows. Shows with an ongoing plot like Lost are not doing well. There seems to be little patience for stories that aren't wrapped up in an hour episode. And for others they see these shows getting cancelled for poor ratings and don't want to invest time in a show that will be gone after five weeks. Studios will not waste money on something without profit. Now think of this with books. If Martin, and others like him, causes enough of an uproar publishers might decide not to commit to long series. I don't see it happening. Not for a long time off anyway. But it is something to think about.


message 12: by Marina (new)

Marina Fontaine (marina_fontaine) | 175 comments Personally I try to only read complete series. I have NO patience waiting for years for another book to come out. Sometimes I get caught, like with The Way of Kings I had no idea it was "1 of 10." I also prefer when each book is self contained, even with an over-arching plot (I think Terry Goodkind did it well with the original Sword of Truth, not so much with the follow up The Omen Machine which is supposedly the first of several more books to come). Harry Potter series was done well also. But both J.K. Rowling and Goodkind knew "the whole story" in their mind when they were writing. For some authors it doesn't work that way- they start off intending to write a number of books, but after a while lose interest or get a block as to where they want the series to go. That's just a difference in creative process, not some kind of moral failing on the author's part.


message 13: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (last edited Nov 19, 2011 03:14PM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) It's hard waiting for books in a series to come out. That's why I never rush through a series. I like knowing I have a fall-back book while I'm waiting for the next book in a series. I learned that the hard way.

I think that sometimes readers who don't write don't realize how painful and exacting writing actually is. The words don't necessarily come that easy, and writers are craftsmen who want to do the best work they can, so they can't rush it. Plus, life can get in the way of writing. And let's face it, die hard fans can be very picky. I bet the writer feels the pressure of having him put a book out that the readers hate.

It's not as easy as it may seem.

Edited to add: I think that if I ever was a published author, I would love to be an off the radar (except in some fan circles) one. Less pressure!


message 14: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments I totally understand how difficult writing is but that doesn't change my expectations. There are tons of difficult things in life - and authors are some of the few people who have the option of doing what they dream of for a living.


message 15: by Terry (new)

Terry Simpson | 261 comments I think most of us recognize the difficulty and in some ways may sympathize. What compounds the issue is the promise. I'm working on book 2 of my series. I'm new to this. I don't know the expectations or the pressure so far. I'm a nobody, but one thing I do know is how I felt waiting for RJ's and G.R.R.M's books. To say I could get aggravated is an understatement. Maybe it was made worse by the fact that I'm a HUGE fan of both. I still remember going into bookstores week after week looking for their newest releases or scouring the internet for any news...sigh...


message 16: by Damali (new)

Damali I'm on the side of giving the author a break. Sure, he promised, but who hasn't broken a promse? I'm fine with stopping Jordan's series at book 9, and if GRRM never finishes his series, I've already finished it in my head to my satisfaction. A true fantasy series never ends for me anyway.


message 17: by Traci (new)

Traci To be honest there's just something about Martin that annoys me. I give everyone else the benfit of doubt. I just have a hard time getting over the dishonesty of saying that Feast was too long and needed to be broken up. Saying the next book would be coming in a year. Giving the impression that it was written.
Sanderson, Lynch, Rothfuss, and whoever else don't tug fans along. Although Mr. Brent Weeks better put his money where his mouth is and release the sequel to The Black Prism this coming year....Lol.


message 18: by Terry (new)

Terry Simpson | 261 comments Traci wrote: "To be honest there's just something about Martin that annoys me. I give everyone else the benfit of doubt. I just have a hard time getting over the dishonesty of saying that Feast was too long and ..." Lol. And that Traci is the issue at the heart of much of this. Where's the like button when you need it. Why the apparent dishonesty? Who knows. It sure has caused him more grief than he could have imagined.


message 19: by Damali (new)

Damali I believe he worked in Hollywood for a numbe of years. That's where the snobbyness comes from.

Traci, you like Brent Weeks I take it?
I have one of his series on my eReader, bur since I downloaded it without anyone recommending or mentioning it, I've been kind of afraid to start it...for the past two years.


message 20: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Traci wrote: "To be honest there's just something about Martin that annoys me. I give everyone else the benfit of doubt. I just have a hard time getting over the dishonesty of saying that Feast was too long and ..."

^This

Sometimes silence is the best policy.


message 21: by Traci (new)

Traci I didn't care too much about Week's Night Angel books. They're okay. I've just read too many similiar books. And he didn't seem like he was sure if he was writing a light action fantasy or a dark gritty fantasy. It tries to be both at once. IMO. But The Black Prism I loved! And it ended in a cliffhanger...
Some readers swing the other way though.


message 22: by Damali (new)

Damali Darn it. The Night books are what I have.


message 23: by Terry (new)

Terry Simpson | 261 comments I loved Night Angel. On the last book now. Another one of my favorites. Pretty good blend of both action and grit in my opinion. Good characters, good story with nice plots along the way.


message 24: by Damali (new)

Damali Now I'm conflicted...

I think Traci's tastes are most similiar to mine.


message 25: by Terry (new)

Terry Simpson | 261 comments Damali wrote: "Now I'm conflicted...

I think Traci's tastes are most similiar to mine."
Usually I know within the first two to three chapters if a book's for me or not. Night Angel at first took some getting used to because of the PoV changes, but once I adapted, it was a breeze.


message 26: by Traci (new)

Traci I liked the first more than a little. Like Terry says it's easy to get into. Likable characters. Cool style. But, imo, the second book took a much darker turn and I didn't like it. I wasn't trying to discourage you to read them. I just downloaded the sample to the third one because this has reminded me I haven't read it yet. And I saw how cheap the first book is and am tempted to buy it. If I read it again that will be three times. And I rated it four stars. So I obviously don't hate it. Just didn't like the second one....maybe I should do a reread. They can be a little predictable though. Atleast in the first two.
I did say there's fans with the opposite opinion of mine. :)


message 27: by Damali (last edited Nov 20, 2011 04:52AM) (new)

Damali Well, I already bought them, so I feel obligated to attempt to read them. I don't like predictable at all, but maybe I'll like the characters. Dark doesn't bother me.
I got all 3 in 1 for, I think $11, back when Amazon and Barnes n Noble, kept changing their ebook prices every other day.

I also have a few of E.E. Knight's novels, which I see you only gave two stars, but another one of my GB friends gave it 4 stars, so I will see... I need to really read the stuff I've downloaded.


message 28: by Becky (new)

Becky Granted, I'm not the most patient person. I hate waiting for new books/games/seasonal beer to come out, because I want it when I want it.

That being said, I would rather wait an extra 5 years to get TOP quality then something that would leave me saying "I know you can do better..." Just like with video games. Most VG production companies, Blizzard, EA, Bioware give a release date, and gamers always know its a joke. You dont want something glitchy, typo'd, with no storyline, and bad action just to fit a contractual timeline.

Perhaps Martin could write faster, but I appreciate that he has other hobbies, passions, and projects. Perhaps that why I like his work, it never seems stale, or forced. Its always fresh. If I were him I would certainly need time away from a project of that magnitude.

Weeks and Gaiman (two of my other favorite authors, for entirely different reasons) both have a point. Time between books is a fineline, and you have to know your fans. I heard some "TV Show" fans that they were upset the books werent written because the TV show would catch up with Martin, and I could help but think to myself that they don't count as real fans if they have ALSO read the books. Perhaps thats snobbish of me. I'm glad there is a show because its prompted so many others to start reading ((My theory is that people who say they don't like reading, just havent been guided to something they'd find worth reading)). The point is perhaps 5+ years is a long time, but Martin knows that his fans will wait, even if their mad. Is this right? Is this wrong? I suppose it depends on who you are.


message 29: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (last edited Nov 21, 2011 07:28AM) (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments I agree that I am willing to wait for quality work...but I am not willing to wait but so long. I will have moved on...and more than likely I will not move back. I never finished the Clan of the Cave Bear series...she took a million years to finish that I am just. no. longer. interested.


I won't be the one ranting and raving in anger (unless in a group convo :) I just won't be the one buying your late ass stuff.


message 30: by Terry (new)

Terry Simpson | 261 comments Becky wrote: "Granted, I'm not the most patient person. I hate waiting for new books/games/seasonal beer to come out, because I want it when I want it.

That being said, I would rather wait an extra 5 years to..."

IF ADWD was as good as the first 3, this would hold water, but I'll be honest, although I liked it and gave it a good rating because there was more action, magic (I love those things so I'm biased there) and well we finally saw its namesake, compared to the first three ADWD is probably a 2 at best.


message 31: by Traci (new)

Traci I do wonder about HBO's A Game of Thrones. If one season is one book it's not unrealistic to think the show can go through four more seasons without a new book from Martin. Than what? Drag out later books for extra episodes? Not to even mention Feast and Dragons will probably be combined because there probably won't be a full season with more than half of the cast missing. Will there be a break? Will Martin write the show before the book? Maybe I'm not optimistic but I do see this as an upcoming problem for HBO.


message 32: by Mach (new)

Mach | 572 comments Who says they will make more then two seasons? The second season is in the making but there is no asurrances that they will make more. It all depends on the ratings if they stay this high there will be a third season and soforth but if the ratings drop very low they will cancel it.


message 33: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Michael | 572 comments Lady Danielle "The Book Huntress" wrote: "It's hard waiting for books in a series to come out. That's why I never rush through a series. I like knowing I have a fall-back book while I'm waiting for the next book in a series. "

This! Unless I know the author's writing "history" I rarely start a series until it is completed.

My very first experience with a series was Sterling Lanier's "Hiero" trilogy ... only he never finished it. I absolutely loved the first two books and still wonder how it would have ended.

If I'd been a little more aware of things at the time I might have wondered at the fact that the first book was published in 1973 and the second 10 years later!

Lanier died in 2007 without ever writing the third book. I would have tried to strangle him I believe if I'd ever met him in person and there are times I swear I'd like to dig him up and strangle him anyway!

Can you tell I'm still really, really annoyed at this guy?


message 34: by Traci (new)

Traci I know how you feel although my experience with this has mostly been with tv shows. Twin Peaks and Carnivale. Two of my favorite shows. Both got cancelled after big cliffhangers. Although seeing how XFiles and Lost ended it might have been a good thing.


message 35: by Terry (new)

Terry Simpson | 261 comments Traci wrote: "I know how you feel although my experience with this has mostly been with tv shows. Twin Peaks and Carnivale. Two of my favorite shows. Both got cancelled after big cliffhangers. Although seeing ho..."
Loved me some Carnivale. Such a good show. Gahhhhhhhhhh. I hate when that happens.


message 36: by Scarlet (last edited Nov 22, 2011 06:05AM) (new)

Scarlet I have a policy against reading an unfinished series..even if the writer will commit to the deadline, I'm just not the kind to wait for books and would rather read the whole series or at least know that if the book I'm currently reading ends with a cliffhanger the next one is available..that is why I won't be reading The Way of Kings anytime soon *sigh*


message 37: by Traci (new)

Traci I must be the oddball reader. I love reading books as they come out. I love the wait (as long as it's reasonable) for that next book. The rush to get it when it comes out. The race to read it as quickly as I can. I even love cliffhangers. It keeps it fresh in my thoughts. It pushes me to think about it until the next book. Wondering what's going to happen. I feel like I miss out on something when I start a series after a few books are out. I read the Harry Potter books with family from the 5th book to the end. The funnest reading experience I have ever had. We all had our opinions and theories. I don't think I would have enjoyed the series half as much without these moments.

@Terry Carnivale was truly an awesome show!


message 38: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Michael | 572 comments Traci wrote: "I must be the oddball reader. I love reading books as they come out. I love the wait (as long as it's reasonable) for that next book. The rush to get it when it comes out. The race to read it as qu..."

I have several mystery series that are like that for me, but no 'cliffhangers' ... no 'end of story' ... going on. Each of the books has a plot that has a beginning and an end, although the characters continue on with their lives and that is woven into the book as well. Connection with the ongoing characters, but you don't have to wait through three books (or a dozen) to get to the *end* of the story.

There are a few fantasy authors that have done this as well but more of them seem locked into the storyline continuing through three or more books.


message 39: by Becky (new)

Becky I have far worse luck with TV shows than bookseries: Farscape, Firefy....


message 40: by Marina (new)

Marina Fontaine (marina_fontaine) | 175 comments Scarlet wrote: "I have a policy against reading an unfinished series..even if the writer will commit to the deadline, I'm just not the kind to wait for books and would rather read the whole series or at least know..."

I started on The Way of Kings not knowing it will be a series, and I have to say it's OK the way the book wraps up. Definitely loose ends, but not something that will keep you up at night wondering what happens next. Considering it will take at least 10 years to complete, the only other option with this series is not to read it at all.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) I hate cliffhangers. I really do. I wish that more series books had installments that conclude, but have elements that you can pick up in the next book.


message 42: by Marina (new)

Marina Fontaine (marina_fontaine) | 175 comments Lady Danielle "The Book Huntress" wrote: "I hate cliffhangers. I really do. I wish that more series books had installments that conclude, but have elements that you can pick up in the next book."

Sometimes cliff hangers just remind me of soap operas or weekly TV shows: tune in next week to see what happened! Or in case of writers: buy my next book! If the writer plans in advance, it should not be THAT difficult to have at least some plot lines tied up (or have them appear tied up, just to give readers some closure at the end of the book). That's why I appreciate Sanderson making The Way of Kings long enough to accomplish that for all of his main characters, even though there is clearly more to come.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) That's how I feel, Masha! Especially when the author doesn't even try to conclude things so that the book is self-contained.


message 44: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Scarlet wrote: "I have a policy against reading an unfinished series..even if the writer will commit to the deadline, I'm just not the kind to wait for books and would rather read the whole series or at least know..."

I am mostly this way. I hate not being able to go on the the next book if I enjoyed it. So honestly, authors like GRRM are not for me...I would give up on him forever ago. Jordan isn't for me, either. Too many books that take too long to come out. It would be different if they wrote their books like MLackey - most of her are series and they have something to make you pick up the next book - but they have some sort of real conclusion at the end. It makes me feel like a more satisfied reader.


message 45: by Traci (new)

Traci Maybe I watched too many soap operas at my grandmother's house growing up. ;)


message 46: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Michael | 572 comments Traci wrote: "Maybe I watched too many soap operas at my grandmother's house growing up. ;)"

I never watched soap operas (okay, my childhood/teen years were pre-TV so didn't have the option) but I DO remember the Saturday movies ... got to town occasionally, but certainly not more than once a month at best. They always had some kind of 'continuing' movie short ... 15 minutes of movie maybe? ... that always ended as the girl was tied to the RR track, or the stage was being chased by Indians ... and then you got this "Continued next week" ...

I don't think I've ever recovered from my irritation from those days.

The only series I will start now that are obviously going to be a continuing series are those by authors that have a proven 'track record' with series.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) I used to watch soap operas too. My grandmother was an ABC lady, so those are the ones I really got into.

MrJ, I think I'd like Mercedes Lackey's books in that case.


message 48: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Lady Danielle "The Book Huntress" wrote: "I used to watch soap operas too. My grandmother was an ABC lady, so those are the ones I really got into.

MrJ, I think I'd like Mercedes Lackey's books in that case."


Oh yes. I suggest you try! I think you would really like them - especially The Last Hearld Mage and Arrows of the Queen.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) I am pretty sure I have Arrows of the Queen. I just need to start sleeping only 3 hours a night, so I'll have more reading time!


message 50: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Michael | 572 comments I've liked Lackey's Valdemar series, in part because she writes a series ... and she's very reliable about publishing in that series. Also, she separates the 'series within the series' by time ... and occasionally adds a stand alone as well. References to previous characters but you end up with a storyline that is complete within several books at least.

Her current Valdemar series that starts with Foundation: The Collegium Chronicles is definitely one of my current favorite series.


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