Friday, March 30, 2012

Welcome Guest Blogger: Will Green

Today I'd like to welcome on of my favorite bloggers,  most insane supporters ;) and great friend, Will Green to the blog. I don't want to put my foot in my mouth, but I believe this is Green's first guest blog. If so, I'm glad Paranormal Wire got to pop his...

Ahem, enjoy! 

Game of Thrones started to get lots of buzz when HBO decided to pick it up as a TV series. HBO is probably the only place that the material in this story could possibly have a home. The extremes of rape, incest and just raw sex combined with rampant brutal violence may sound like a wild and crazy time for some people, after all sex and violence sell, but this story is not for the faint of heart nor people with low attention spans. Our A.D.D. brothers and sisters may get a kick out of the nudity and maiming, but there is way too much political turmoil in the seven kingdoms to hold anyone’s attention for too long.   

This is starting to sound like a book review for The Game of Thrones…well it’s coming, but not here and not today.

I’m here to talk about why books in general should be toned down in length. Don’t get me wrong the story was fantastic, but some parts were terribly slow and I even listened to the audio of it I didn’t read it myself. If I would have started reading it, it would take me a very long time to finish it especially through the political jargon. The same goes for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, it was a great story to listen to, but I probably could not have read it all the way through. Way too many Swedish names and the character building was way too broad, so many characters to keep track of. Especially coming to the end of the trilogy, do I really need to know the entire life story of some random detective? NO!

These stories are for very dedicated readers and fans, but I think there is a way to bring in more readers and create more fans. Occasionally we’ll see a trilogy or more get turned into one big book. The Chronicles of Narnia is one example that comes to mind. Also more recently The Hunger Games trilogy went from three books to one. Why not go the other way? Why not take The Game of Thrones which is an 800 plus page tome and turn it into three digestible volumes? I think in today’s society with as little attention span as most people have there would be more people to pick up a 200-250 page book then an 800 page book. The Game of Thrones or rather The Song of Fire and Ice series gets consecutively longer. The Clash of Kings which is book two is over 1000, A Storm of Swords (book three) 1200 plus, A Feast for Crows (book four) drops it back to 1100 pages. Seriously? Is that even necessary? Would you pick up an 1100 page book, I wouldn’t…I don’t think. I would have to be one dedicated fan of those characters. I listened to book one and I pushed myself through book two, but I don't know if I'm ready to go back to the seven kingdoms quite yet.

Alright so we’re in the digital age and we don’t see “pages” anymore and listening doesn't convey the pages either, but 40 hours is a long time to listen to someone read you a story. Wouldn’t you want to see that progress bar or percentage go up more quickly, though? I know I would. Then sooner rather than later you’ve come to the end of The Game of Thrones Volume 1 and you feel pretty accomplished. Now it’s time for a nice reading palette cleanser and get the taste of those characters out of your mouth for a little while. Why not go for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo part 1 and, depending on your reading speed, you’ll be done in a weekend or a week or maybe two. Some people are crazy fast readers and they gobble up 250 page books in a day. And it's not like they sit around all day and read, that's just an afternoon for some.

Of course these books are not broken up like that, but if they were then you reading this right now could be picking up Volume 2 of The Game of Thrones next week.

Let's put this in perspective The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is 3 large books, if they were broken up into 3 more books we would have 9 total books in The Millennium series (It's called The Millennium Trilogy for those playing along at home). Would that be less intimidating to a reader to read 9 shorter stories than 3 giant stories, possibly, but not necessarily. I think it's more attractive, myself. 

The Song of Ice and Fire is supposed to be a 7 book set. If we broke those up into 4 parts each that would be a total of 28 books in the series. In some eyes a 200 page book is more attractive than a 1200 page tome. But then again some people just crave those epic fantasies put together in one massive text.

I have friends in all the spectrum of reading abilities and attention span and I would love to share these stories that I’ve enjoyed myself with them, but it’s like trying to convince a shark to play nice in the water…IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! Most people I know just want nothing to do with these giant tomes. So why not play to our low attention span siblings? Granted some people will see this article and decide it's too much for them. There's not much you can do about them. Give them The Foot Book, because Green Eggs and Ham is too much for them.

That’s my take on the situation at hand. Normally Natasha has someone who is selling their book or something to that affect, but I do not have a book to sell. Maybe someday, in the mean time take a look at some of these great indie books.

Of course Natasha Larry herself author of Darwin’s Children and Unnatural Law. James Crawford author of Caleo. Nova Sparks author of theDOME and theDOMErevelation. David Beem author of The Abyss of Chaos.

All of these books are short in stature unlike those others, but massive in quality and action.

William Green is a semi-advanced, aspiring professional. He is the founder of Wayward Things.  The curator of daily quotes and interviewer of almost famous authors. 

Check Out Wayward Things on Facebook 
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William Green said...

Thanks for having me today Natasha. I hope people find this interesting and possibly somewhat informative.

Natasha Larry said...

I think this is a great post. I would have to agree, after trying and failing to read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo three times. Its just too much... stuff on top of the story, or something.

I tried watching one episodes of Game of Thrones, having gone into it thinking it was going to be some epic, sword and battle drama, but the entire thing was about politics, and I fell asleep.

So, naaah. :)

Charles O'Keefe said...

Tasha! Fell asleep during Game of Thrones! BLASPHEMY! ;) Nice article Will, I agree getting through a long book is a challenge sometimes. Even the classics like LOTR can be challenege sometimes (The Two Towers was a chore in spots) and don't get me started on some of the Wheel of time books.

Auido books are a great idea and I've listened to plenty. That way you can do 2 things at once (like walking or driving). I believe WOT has been split up into smaller volumes and you'll be pleased to know my book is a nice digestable 80,000 or so words :-)

Natasha Larry said...

LoL, blasphemy really? But.. it was sooo boring lol. Oo! Good call on Lord of the Rings, I tried reading... got about 60 pages into the first one and fell asleep.

*ducks out of wa

Charles O'Keefe said...

Hi Tasha :-)

Ok I admit a couple of Game of Thrones episodes are a tiny bit slow :) It is really a FANTASTIC show, you should really give it a chance.

There is so much out there to read, this is why when a movie is done well (and accurate to the book) it can be a wonderful experience and a great time saver :) LOTR is a case in point, I HOPE you've seen the movies. If not for the movies many people would never know the wonderful world Tolkien created.

Natasha Larry said...

I have seen the movies. I thought the first one was boring, but the last two blew me away, which is when I tried reading the books :(

It failed.

Charles O'Keefe said...

Hi Tasha =)

I thought the first movie was excellent and "Return of the King" a masterpiece (it did win 11 Oscars :). I read LOTR in high school and fell in love with the world. The first book does have some slow parts but it is worth it. LOTR is a physical, mental & spiritual journey that does take a while to get going, but it's worth it in the end :-)