Two aspects still stand after all the discussions on the forums and blogs:
1- I consider going above 700k excessive. Before Jordan died the book was tentatively scheduled for a late 2008 release. When he died fans expected that he was, if not near the conclusion, well into the book. So the fans were expecting another writer to be called to COMPLETE the book and fill the missing parts. Months later there was a SHOCKING revelation that no one has taken for what it meant simply out of respect. Jordan was nowhere near the end of the book. In fact he was nowhere even near the middle. He left 50k words of prose and a bunch of notes and an outline that fans suppose/hope is well detailed. The truth (and I say this because telling the truth is more respectful than telling lies) is that Jordan wouldn’t have possibly completed the book. Not a chance since he wrote 50k in two years. This means that Sanderson wasn’t going to complete some missing parts, but he was going to do the GREAT MAJORITY of the work.
Now, with the recent growth of the book to excessive levels (we moved from a target of 400k to 800k in just a few months), we are looking at a book of 800-900k against 50k written by Jordan. This can’t be anymore possibly be called “completing” a book. Not even co-writing. Since it seems that the majority of those 50k Jordan wrote are the prologue and last chapter, then it’s likely that the middle book of the new trilogy will have NO JORDAN WORDS in it. Every passing month Sanderson bit a bigger piece of the pie. If we make a proportion WITH THE WHOLE series and all eleven books Jordan wrote, Sanderson, with one book, is writing a 21.4% of the thing. More than twenty fucking percent. This isn’t about closing plot threads following Jordan’s outline, this is about taking the task to a whole new level. This is FAR from the idea of completing the book, and month after month Sanderson is taking more for himself. Way past the essence of the initial deal and respect for Jordan. It isn’t about carefully respecting the original work and write exactly what is needed to give the book a proper conclusion within what is possible with what Jordan left. It is about taking control and writing a new tangent.
Have the courage to take Jordan name off the cover. Because he is surely not the writer of THIS book.
2- I’m extremely annoyed with the rhetoric being used, including Harriet.
To the complaints about the three volumes split people across forums are replying with “it was impossible for one volume”. No one is answering WHY THE BOOK COULDN’T BE SPLIT IN TWO.
This defies logic. It’s a stupid argument and exposes a lack of truthfulness.
This piece from Harriett is offensive of intelligence:
The material that Jim left was very capacious, and Brandon saw after working with it for a while that he could not complete it in less than a total of 750,000 words. This is probably an impossible thing to bind – unless we sold it with a magnifying glass. 250,000 words is in fact a fat, or Rubensesque, novel. You will notice that 3 x 250,000 equals 750,000. So… part of the decision was based on making a book within the scope of binding technology.
The argument used to counter those who complained about the split in three is saying that the book was impossible to bind in one. So they are going to bind it in three.
“You will notice that 3 x 250,000 equals 750,000”? No. I notice that you are bullshitting me. Why, if the book couldn’t be done in one, couldn’t it be done in two? Why aren’t you answering that?
Because this is also a fraud. Because this is a deceit and “impossible thing to bind” is, obviously, NOT the TRUE reason behind the split. That’s all. And they are too cowards to admit what is the true reason. Hypocrites.
– Those are the two main points. If Jordan wrote 50k and an outline, then writing 900k means going WAY BEYOND the original intent Sanderson was given. Secondly, while the split in two was justified by a so huge book, a split in three is just evidence of publisher’s greed that trumps respect for a writer to whom they owe a lot.
Quotes from the forums:
Stego: The man stood up from his seat and shouted to a room of fans that it would be one more book, he raised his voice louder and gesticulated and stated that if it had to be the size of three phone books, so be it. He would make sure it happened, publishers be damned.
When I asked him about it later, he stated that no matter what happened, no matter what he had to do, he would make sure it was only one more book. What is hard to grasp about that? TOR and Sanderson are going against his wishes.
Have you read the garbled ramblings that were The Wheel of Time 7-10? TOR would let him get away with anything. But now that he’s dead, they feel as if they can do whatever they damn well choose.
Gyrehead: I guess my point is, for good or ill, this is no longer Robert Jordan’s A Memory of Light but rather the Estate of Robert Jordan’s A Memory of Light. If Sanderson was comign in to fill in the blanks it would be one thing. But he’s not. He is essentially writing the book with a leaping off point of Jordan’s overall scheme and a few passages already written. That is it. This book is for Jordan. Or more for Tor making money and the bleating fans who long before Jordan was even ill fretted and moaned and wet themselves in frustration as to when the series would be finished. Not how. Not how well. But just when. Now they get their wish. Because “finishing” the series is what was the most important thing. In fact such comments exist in this thread. Neverminding the head in the sand approach to the fact that the series will remain unfinished in terms of Robert Jordan writing the book and getting his clearly grandiosely deluded belief it would be one book (especially as Jordan in Atlanta was already talking about over 1200 pages post-manuscript publishing before he did more than organize the files he had left over from the last book).
I respect Jordan’s work. I even had a liking for him despite his overinflated opinion of himself. Mainly because even with all his one book more foolishness before he even put pen to paper (Jordan was the last author that should have written to order), he still took all his fame and glory as a writer as a huge unexpected privilege and never ever took that for granted. And I will even read Sanderson’s Tor Inhouse fanboi special franchised “ending”. But in terms of respecting Jordan’s wishes? Well that train left the station long ago since Tor went aahead with Harriet’s guidance and input and took the route of having Sanderon write the book. Write the book. Not edit it . Write it. The fact that the book will bear Jordan as “author” smacks more of V.C. Andrews than it doesn’t. It is Brandon Sanderson trying to pretend to be Robert Jordan and hoping that all those fans who just wanted it done no matter what , no matter by what author, will line up, baa quietly and pony up the lucre for the tome no matter how thick and no matter many volumes it takes. This was about Tor managing to make a profit and a very concerted effort to just please fans eager to suck at the teat of WoT even if it is wetnurse offering the pap. Worrying about Jordan’s wishes? Even if he had written it in full or significant part? WEll why does he get that accord? I mean WoT as it is, is still my favorite series as a whole. And it no doubt will remain so for some time to come if not in perpetuity. But I still think silly posturing and blowhard over expectations deserve to be ignored politely. Whether it is a living deluded guru like Goodkind or an author I feel we lost well before his time like Jordan. death doesn’t turn stupid, or at least in this cae foolishness, into sanctity.
I should say that regardless of the above, I think that Tor shouldn’t make any decisions until Sanderson finishes the whole book. Because it should be treated as a whole book no matter how many volumes it takes to do the final book. The approach now in what is being reported is that even with a “natural” cut off point that Sanderson seems so happy about, it ceases to become a single volume even in spirit if he stops writing.