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An Author Dying

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An Author Dying

Postby damiynn » Thu Oct 25, 2007 10:20 am

I have a question for all fans of series

I am a published author of a fantasy book called A King's Quest, its the first in a series and the second is due to come out soon, I am also though a huge Robert Jordan fan, and I recently read that he passed away before he finished his final book in his Wheel of Time series.

I almost died in a car crash and spent three weeks in a coma and that has prompted me to ask, What would have happened to my series if I had died? Robert Jordan has millions of fans and TOR books and his wife is talking about finishing the series he was writing, but will it be the same? With someone else finishing the series do you think it will end the same or have the same plot twists that RJ put in his books? It is an interesting question, If my wife finished my series would it end the same? I dont know? I was just wondering if any others had any thoughts on this subject. AV Wedhorn.
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Postby spknoevl » Thu Oct 25, 2007 1:30 pm

I'm not a big fan of family members, beit spouses or offspring, taking over a writer's series. The job Christopher Tolkien has done with his father's work being one of the few exceptions. Still, he used his father's drafts and really only edited them.

I can't say the same for Frank Herbert's Dune series. The books his son co-wrote are inferior to Frank's works, and to my mind cheapen it in a way. Even the last two-part book based on Frank's original drafts was extremely disappointing.

I'm not really a big Robert Jordan fan, but I had heard his last book had been finished before he passed away.

I think an author's works should be left alone once he passes away, unless in the case of Tolkien there are numerous book drafts sitting around and a real demand for them.

Family members should have writing careers based on their own merits, not ride their deceased kin's characters.
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Postby aldan » Thu Oct 25, 2007 8:32 pm

Truly, for me, if, as is the case (supposedly) with Robert Jordan's final novel, it was completed, or nearly so, and mainly needs editing and touching up, I feel that the decisions should be in the hands of the publishing editor, the publishing representative that the author had contact with during the creation of his/her series, and the author's agent should all have a say in doing the final work on it, but then the family member should have final say on what they've done with it. If it wasn't done to that extent, then I say that the family member who takes over should have had some very direct contact with the writer's world prior to that author dying (such as what Anne McCaffery has done w/ her son, for instance). In such a case, it would still end up being at least somewhat different, but would be able to (hopefully) bring the series to a fairly satisfying conclusion.

I hate to see such a situation occur, but it does happen. I feel that an author should really sit down with his/her agent and significant other, when his/her series has really taken off, and explain (and put in writing) what the author would like done with that series if something were to happen to make it impossible for the author to complete it.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and to appear stupid than
to open it and remove all doubt."
---Mark Twain
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Postby who me » Sun Nov 04, 2007 11:52 am

It depends on how closely the people worked with the author. if he told them all his ideas every evening over the dinner table.
if he left behind lots of drafts and notes so that they could finish up the book the way he intended it then it is fine.
but you can not carry on book after book because you will eventually bring in your thoughts.

some books how ever get brutal treatment form editors, Robert E, Howard's Conan was butchered several times.
some of Howards historical story's were turned into Conan story's by L. Sprague de Camp.
because that way they sold better.

personally I hate it when people do this.
books and story's reflect the times they were written in, that can tell us some thing to.
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Postby spknoevl » Mon Nov 05, 2007 7:37 am

A novel, to me, is more than just the story. The writer's style is also part of the attraction to a novel or series of novels. A family member may be able to complete the author's storyline, but the prose won't be the same.
I know a lot of people feel that if the storyline is strong enough, one doesn't notice the prose, but I don't necessarily agree with that assessment. How someone tells the story doesn effect how it moves along, and your perception of it.
As much as we'd all like someone like Tolkien to still be cranking out books, we should really just enjoy an author's life work for what it is, or was.
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Postby who me » Mon Nov 05, 2007 7:55 am

I was thinking of finishing up a incomplete book.
but I agree that a family member can not carry on a epic or series.
If Tolkien was still alive he would still be revising the silmarillion.
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