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Some issues about chronology... posted 20 May 2005 in Author Q & ASome issues about chronology... by bovine_buddha, Commoner

Hi Scott!

I was rereading The Darkness That Comes Before the other day when I stumbled on an irritating detail regarding the timespan. So, I figured, having visited this excellent forum and recently read the post by Haplo commending you for time spent on your avid fans, thought I might as well give it a go and ask the mastermind himself. So...

The detail that struck me was that When CnaiĆ¼r returns to his Utemot encampment in Chapter 8, according to the novel, one whole year has passes since the battle at Kiyuth. Okay, small deal, simple enough, a small typo, it was supposed to be in 4410 not in 4411 as it said. However... This is where the strange businiess starts... So take a deep breath <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> After that brief interlude, the novel goes on talking about the Vulgar Holy War, and its failure, dated late autumn 4411 which according to the novel take place 1.5 years after the Holy War was proclaimed... which means that it is in fact in 4411 this takes place, since it was proclaimed in the spring of 4110.

Which brings us to the paradox: Late Autumn 4411 is the time for the Third March in The Warrior Prophet. This ultimately makes the date for the Vulgar Holy War late Autumn 4110, thus a typo in the chapter. However, Chapter 8 claims a time period of 1.5 years between proclamation and the Vulgar Holy War, so the Holy War must have been proclaimed on 4109 according to Chapter 8! Which means that the either dates in the beginning of the novel where Achamian visits Sumna are in fact supposed to be in 1409, whereupon he spends one year there until he travels to Momemn, or otherwise the one and a half years are supposed to be only half a year.

Wow... If it is unclear (it seems to me <!-- s:oops: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_redface.gif" alt=":oops:" title="Embarassed" /><!-- s:oops: -->), I have attached a word document i wrote when trying to establish these things for myself. Might be simpler to check, better overview.

Well then, while we're at it, can you embroider some more upon the time in the novels? How long is a year for example? Maybe this is mentioned somewhere but... Don't know where! <!-- s:P --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- s:P --> My hunch would be about the same as ours, since Conphas was fielded for 200 days according to Istriya in his Scylvendi campaign, which must have started sometime in Spring (Holy War) and ended as we know in Early Autumn, roughly half a year.

Well well, hope this finds you in good health <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D --> view post


Some issues about chronology... posted 20 May 2005 in Author Q &amp; ASome issues about chronology... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

This is part of a problem that was discovered a while back (does anyone remember by whom?) and I spent a good two months cursing and muttering like Gollum. It's actually a BIG problem (if remember aright, bigger even than what you depict), which is a result, I think, of all the various drafts I had on the go when I pulled together the final version. (I had a devilishly difficult time writing and rewriting the beginning of TDTCB and then woe with my copy-editor afterwards).

As it stands, it's at the top of the list of 'Things to Do for the Revised Edition.' I still get a twinge in my gut when I think about it.

I could have used you way back when, Bovine Buddha! (I absolutely love that name, BTW). view post


Some issues about chronology... posted 22 May 2005 in Author Q &amp; ASome issues about chronology... by bovine_buddha, Commoner

Well, I didn't notice it the first time through so.... For now I can just accept that Achamian in his lustful coupling with Esmenet spontaneously discovered the lost art of Aporos and created a time-nullyfing stasis-field around them for a year <!-- s:P --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- s:P --> . I understand what you're trying to say at least (I hope <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D -->). I guess it's one of those things that always crop up. Such small inconsistensies (okay, a year is a long time, but not when read in a couple of hours) don't ruin the overall plot in any way, so according to me it's entirely forgivable.

Still, are you planning on doing a Revised Edition howver, in the (near) future? I think it's one of those things most authors tend to neglect <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->.

While we're on the topic, how many people have actually proofread your books before release? Apart from your friends and family (which are important as well), how many people "in the business" have actually read it? And, more importantly, how have you responded to their views and criticisms? In a project as large as writing a novel, which to me seems as a huge undertaking, I guess its good to have some objective viewpoints pointing out your glaring oversights (If you had any <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->) Still, have there been any "There's too much explicit violence/sex in this chapter"-opinions? I guess it's a balance between accomodating the know-hows and maintaining your own vision.

About the name, thanks! I like it quite a lot <!-- s:P --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- s:P -->. Thanks for your time! view post


Some issues about chronology... posted 23 May 2005 in Author Q &amp; ASome issues about chronology... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I want to do a revised edition, but it all depends upon my publishers.

While we're on the topic, how many people have actually proofread your books before release? Apart from your friends and family (which are important as well), how many people "in the business" have actually read it? And, more importantly, how have you responded to their views and criticisms?


For TDTCB, I've literally lost count. That book was scrutinized - (and I even asked my copyeditors to pay close attention to the timeline!). As for criticisms, I'm an addict. I feel at sea unless I'm getting sharp critical feedback. I seriously consider everything, but since everyone's response is idiosyncratic in some respect, I'm inclined to pay most attention to the common criticisms that come up.

Still, have there been any "There's too much explicit violence/sex in this chapter"-opinions?


In every book so far. I intentionally write the drafts 'balls to the wall' (no pun intended) in various respects, and then pare things back accordingly. There's lots of disgusting little things that were cut. view post


Some issues about chronology... posted 23 May 2005 in Author Q &amp; ASome issues about chronology... by Sovin Nai, Site Administrator

You could probably sell all those disgusting bits in one volume. <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D --> view post


Some issues about chronology... posted 23 May 2005 in Author Q &amp; ASome issues about chronology... by bovine_buddha, Commoner

Awwww... But I like those disgusting and deranged parts! Makes me feel sick and like retchi.....

On second thought maybe they were best left behind <!-- s:P --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- s:P -->

Jokes aside, I think you're definitely not over the top compared to other authors on that point. Personally, I can't stand how GRRM always refers to the male genitals using the extremely ugly word "cock". I mean, how many people acually think of it like that when taking a piss? Makes me wonder about his sanity <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D -->

Oopss.. treading strange ground here. Just ignore what I said, and be a happier man for it <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> view post


Some issues about chronology... posted 24 May 2005 in Author Q &amp; ASome issues about chronology... by SEF, Candidate

Quote: &quot;bovine_buddha&quot;:2rrwgll2
Awwww... But I like those disgusting and deranged parts! Makes me feel sick and like retchi.....

On second thought maybe they were best left behind <!-- s:P --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- s:P -->

Jokes aside, I think you're definitely not over the top compared to other authors on that point. Personally, I can't stand how GRRM always refers to the male genitals using the extremely ugly word "cock". I mean, how many people acually think of it like that when taking a piss? Makes me wonder about his sanity <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D -->

Oopss.. treading strange ground here. Just ignore what I said, and be a happier man for it <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->[/quote:2rrwgll2]

Literary prudes are not the most kosher people in my book. They seem to enjoy grossly misconstruing the fact people like GRRM and Bakker will depict explicit realism either in graphic description or dialogue. C'mon folks, get with it, nobody's complaining about King or Clive Barker or Martel or Khalil or McCarthy, why complain about it in epic fantasy. Reminds me of the censor nazis back in the thirties, forties, and fifties of American cinema.

From the Dark Ages back through ancient history, the most civilized peoples and societies were capable of the greatest savagery and merciless acts. I.e. the Romans, Mayans, etc. I love this material as long as the author doesn't saturate his books with it, thus degrade his work, then it can get a bit nauseous a la Brunch's The Seer King trilogy and let's not forget Goodkind's silliness. Please no more literary prudes (speaking in general terms, writers need to ignore a relatively small voice among readers). Welcome this creative license with open arms, open hearts, and open minds! view post


Some issues about chronology... posted 24 May 2005 in Author Q &amp; ASome issues about chronology... by bovine_buddha, Commoner

Hey, I'm not saying it's anything wrong with it! <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> I actually think this is one of the factors separating more realistic fantasy from the up-in-the-clouds fantasy, though of course not the only one. Graphic sex/violence is certainly not a requirement for good writing! But in Bakker's novel for example it helps a lot when analysing the characters. Its total absence in some books, both in description and the fact that its never mentioned detracts from their credulity. For depicting the psychologically realistic character Achamian one couldn't skip this detail, since it ties into his whole world-view and his obsessions.

However, I maintain my view that GRRM is singular in his obsession over words. Sure, if he's writing about rape, then "cock" might be an adequate word. But when one of the good guys goes to take a piss, using such a word just makes me laugh... Hail Bakker and his varying vocabulary!

BTW, Clive Barker's use of "prick" annoyed me to no end. Not in GRRM's way, but the word itself sounds so... I don't know. Not very beautiful anyway. But that's my personal opinion!

Now, a follow-up question for Scott! You said that tDtCB was scrutinized, what about tWP then? Had you garnered more trust from your publisher about your judgement or was it simply due to lack of time? view post


Some issues about chronology... posted 28 May 2005 in Author Q &amp; ASome issues about chronology... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Now, a follow-up question for Scott! You said that tDtCB was scrutinized, what about tWP then? Had you garnered more trust from your publisher about your judgement or was it simply due to lack of time?


Lack of time. I signed all these three book deals without any real conception of the work involved. I had 20 years for TDTCB!

As for graphic depictions, I think it clearly comes down to motivation. If it's graphic simply for the sake of being graphic, it simply becomes less effective, I think. And writing is all about using language effectively. view post


Some issues about chronology... posted 29 May 2005 in Author Q &amp; ASome issues about chronology... by SEF, Candidate

Quote: &quot;Cu'jara Cinmoi&quot;:2i6nmr6m

As for graphic depictions, I think it clearly comes down to motivation. If it's graphic simply for the sake of being graphic, it simply becomes less effective, I think. And writing is all about using language effectively.[/quote:2i6nmr6m]

Could you elaborate on 'motivation', I hear where you are coming from, but still. I always loved the descriptiveness of GRRM, which I think has a different motivation than perhaps yourself. Some people have commented how the "graphic" sex life of Tyrion turns their stomache, a few reactions approaching profane of the sacred. Geez, it never bothered me, I love the gritty and coarse characterizations in Martin's books because they are so, so honest to his fantasy vision.

BTW, I've just about knocked out TDTCB, and love the theocracy and politics, tenets and factions, history and prophecy, combined with the differing ideas made for some refreshing fantasy reading. view post


Some issues about chronology... posted 06 June 2005 in Author Q &amp; ASome issues about chronology... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

By 'motivation' I just mean those things that justify turns, whether stylistic or otherwise, in the story. The rule of thumb is simply that the more justifications you have for any element, the better, since it means that it's doing multiple things - and that's the hallmark of effective writing. view post


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