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Last Post 7/5/2015 11:13 PM by Rusty. 92 Replies.
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Kerrick
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12/7/2012 10:31 AM
They kinda have to do that, Max - it's called "writing for a series". Readers should be able to pick up any book, at any point, and have a clear idea of who the characters are. Thus, the need for the intros in every single book. Tedious, but a necessary evil.
Maximus
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12/9/2012 11:09 AM
I disagree. I've read great series that don't do that. If the reader wants to find out more, than the writer was smart enough to give them only enough to go back and pay for the past other books to find out more or catch up.
Ithaqua
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12/26/2012 11:27 PM
Ok, I don;t really remember the book...I'm going through 2-3 a week now but in one book Jak throws one of his, say it with me now "LEAF BLADED THROWING KNIVES" 200 yards! Let me say that again...TWO HUNDRED YARDS! I have thrown knives, I have thrown a lot of things, I have even thrown one of those disk things that go forever, I don't think I have thrown anything 200 yards.
)3az )3aziah
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1/2/2013 7:11 AM
Posted By Ithaqua on 12/26/2012 11:27:18 PM
Ok, I don;t really remember the book...I'm going through 2-3 a week now but in one book Jak throws one of his, say it with me now "LEAF BLADED THROWING KNIVES" 200 yards! Let me say that again...TWO HUNDRED YARDS! I have thrown knives, I have thrown a lot of things, I have even thrown one of those disk things that go forever, I don't think I have thrown anything 200 yards.


Oh yes I recall that one and i also recall several of us having a good laugh over that when it first appeared.

 Jim

===============================
Billy Fish: He wants to know if we are gods.
Peachy Carnehan: Not gods - Englishmen. The next best thing.


Please check out my FLICKR photos
Ithaqua
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1/2/2013 11:45 PM
The number one thing that bugs me? That AP won't be writing anymore books. Finished Doom Helix with a great sense of sadness. AP in my opinion was the best. I like the other authors, but none compare. I wish we had AP at my last company as a writer, or indeed any of the companies I have worked at/founded.
Ithaqua
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1/10/2013 12:37 AM
O.k. seriously. I am now starting book 100, and I started at book 0. What the HELL are the companions looking for?!?! I mean even Gilligan wanted off of the island! What do they want? Why do they keep making stupid blind jumps? Why do they make these consisntantly idiotic choices and then bitch about them? Why do they leave when they find a good thing? I can only imagine that they are all seriously mentaly ill. It's really they only option at this point.
I get that it's a series run by a "for profit" company that just wants to sell books, but at what point do they not think that maybe, people who read these books are not morons and might want at least a plausible motivation for the characters?
As I have mentioned before I love the Doc Savage books. Doc Savage and his crew set up to help people in need. Folks would come to him and they would go off on an adventure. See, that's a motivation. The stories varied from interesting and fun, to stupid, but at least I knew why they where doing it.
DL is starting to become a joke. I'll still read them but the pleasure gets guiltier with each one.
after 100 books I feel I know the characters better than the editors at this point. The companions want a just world, they want freedom and a rule of just laws, but everytime they get in a position to make this happen they LEAVE! For no good reason!
Maybe now is the time the series actually tries to build in some continuity, like they had in the early days. I vote that they make jumps to find people and resources to start building a new just world. Set up a base, make it grow, get refugees, fight off invaders and cold hearts, find people with talent and those who would help make that vision happen. At this point the companions have seen and done too much to just be a slack jawed hicks at the mat trans' mercy. Anyone agree?
Ron Miles
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1/10/2013 7:49 AM
The only thing you said in that entire post that GE cares about is "I'll still read them..."
"Sadly then I knew the answer. All her life she was a dancer, but no one ever played the song she knew." - The Residents
Maximus
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1/10/2013 12:46 PM

You both have solid points. Ron is absolutely correct.

And the other person has made solid points too. Yeah, the companions have been making stupid choices for some time now. No reason to jump sometimes. Taking stupid chances when they don't need to. And on and on and on...

 

The problem is: Multiple writers. Which is both a blessing and a curse.

 

No continuity with multiple writers. But sometimes a new writer comes around and shows himself to be so damn talented in writing a post-holocaust adventure, that us readers can forget the last few crappy, half-assed ones.

 

A good editor would point out these flaws to the writer. Have them pen a way for the companions to have a REASON to jump or leave a perfectly lovely, hidden and outfitted redoubt or ville. 

 

We know that the series has to continue, so they leave or jump. But you are right. They need a 'final destination' to reach for. They have been looking for that 'idyllic locale' long enough - and have found it quite a few times! - but leave anyway.

The Phantom
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1/10/2013 1:23 PM
Posted By Ithaqua on 1/10/2013 12:37:00 AM


Maybe now is the time the series actually tries to build in some continuity, like they had in the early days. I vote that they make jumps to find people and resources to start building a new just world. Set up a base, make it grow, get refugees, fight off invaders and cold hearts, find people with talent and those who would help make that vision happen. At this point the companions have seen and done too much to just be a slack jawed hicks at the mat trans' mercy. Anyone agree?

Sounds like you should read Outlanders, starting from the beginning.


Ron Miles
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1/10/2013 1:32 PM
For all its worth, despite my last comment I do know that The Powers That Be actually would prefer to have the kind of continuity we all desire. I know that one particular author has gone so far as to offer to write a Two year Plan that would map out all of the major beats for a full cycle of stories that would contain actual character growth and a targeted plot. Each individual story would still remain standalone, but taken together there would be strong book-to-book continuity and an overall story arc that would eventually reach a climax and conclusion while at the same time setting in motion another similar cycle.

The basic problem is that with a publishing rate of six books per year, no single author can reliably crank out that many stories by themselves. From a basic logistical standpoint it takes a minimum of two authors, and more likely three or four, to maintain that kind of publishing schedule. Deadlines are a serious issue, and if you don't have a full stable of authors who can consistently hit the deadlines (which unfortunately is not really the case currently), a publisher cannot commit to that kind of tight story continuity. And so, we don't have it.

You might think, well why don't they just scale back to a more sustainable publishing rate? Surely three quality books per year would be better than six mostly sub-par books per year? I honestly don't know the concrete answer to that, except to say that Gold Eagle has managed to remain profitable despite the downturns in the publishing industry in recent years. Story quality aside, GE appears to be very good at what they do (and one of the very few publishers still doing it). At the end of the day I suspect that quantity trumps quality when it comes to the bottom line.
"Sadly then I knew the answer. All her life she was a dancer, but no one ever played the song she knew." - The Residents
Maximus
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1/11/2013 1:15 AM

Well said, Ron!

 

I'll bet you're right on the money. 

Maximus
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1/11/2013 11:43 AM

To what Ron wrote about one author having a planned story arc: Depending on 'which' author that would be, that could be either extremely awesome...or extremely horrendous.

My vote would be for Chuck Rogers. In just two amazing books, he's more than proven he has the writing cajones to take this sometimes tired 'ol DL series to a new level. Both in story concept and vision, insofar as one author could do in a somewhat long story-arc.

 

The books obviously sale, or GE would not have made more of them per year. Greenbacks are the bottom line in any business. But I'd much rather have less and better quality any day of the week.

 

In my opinion, the best DL by far in 2012 was Hell Road Warriors. Although 4 of them were written by Victor Milan, and 1 by Andy Boot. (Which was the worst stinker of the year, and pretty much the entire series, as voted by us.) So Nick Polatta or John Helfers didn't get a vote, due to them not having typed a DL last year. Shame. I really liked Helfers twin books. He more than proved he has serious talent and a bright future in DL. Hope to see more of his work.

RPGjunkie
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1/24/2013 1:09 AM
Posted By Ron Miles on 1/10/2013 1:32:08 PM


The basic problem is that with a publishing rate of six books per year, no single author can reliably crank out that many stories by themselves. From a basic logistical standpoint it takes a minimum of two authors, and more likely three or four, to maintain that kind of publishing schedule. Deadlines are a serious issue, and if you don't have a full stable of authors who can consistently hit the deadlines (which unfortunately is not really the case currently), a publisher cannot commit to that kind of tight story continuity. And so, we don't have it.



Ron, you say that writing six novels a year would be difficult for any author to accomplish, but Laurence James did just that, year after year. And so did Mark Ellis with the Outlanders series, and at a time when the word count for each book was bigger. Sure, the closest thing we've seen lately is Vic Milan's impressive string of four consecutive novels, but I really think that a focused and dedicated author can write half a dozen solid books per year. I don't know how far in advance novels are completed before their publication, but given a nice head start before a deadline, one of these authors (preferably Chuck Rogers, if his contract would allow for so many books) could definitely craft a compelling narrative arc.

Even if Gold Eagle doesn't want one single author for the entire series, why not dedicate an entire year to a single writer's story arc? After his six novels, the baton is passed to the next writer, who pens six in a row, etc. This way we'd get to see more compelling stories spread out across a few books, and an arc which could come to a natural close, instead of cramming a conclusion into the final paragraph of the book because the editors decided to emphasize action over a coherent story. 

Ithaqua
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1/24/2013 7:45 PM
As someone who has worked with a shared universe, games not books, all it takes is a good editor, a comprehensive style guide and a company who gives a damn to do everything we want from DL, my guess is that Gold Eagle is missing 2 of these.
Maximus
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1/25/2013 1:12 AM
And you'd be spot-on bloody right, Ithaqua!
Kerrick
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1/25/2013 9:55 AM
Bah, you could do it with multiple authors - all it requires is communicaton. Elliis, Odom, Collins did it when LJ retired, but as Mark mentioned one time, the new ex-ed discouraged it when he took over because he wanted more episodic stories. Obviously things have changed now, but it shouldn't be hard for a couple writers to come together for short story arcs, interspersed with some standalone books.
The Phantom
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1/25/2013 1:10 PM

With the technology available these days, it's easier than ever for authors to be able to communicate and compare notes and whatnot.

Heck, with skype alone, it would be cake for authors and editors to have a conference to hammer out continuity and story developments, and fact checking and so forth.


OneFallenShadow
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2/12/2013 4:28 PM

RPGJunkie, the novel is Pilgrimage to Hell.  There are also numerous times in various other books where he recalls what he was forced to do and kinda "drifts" from his "normal" demeanor.

applesauce
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3/12/2013 8:45 AM
I have now read the first 39 books. I am reading 3 or 4 a week. What drives me nuts more than anything else is there not a single backpack in all of deathlands sheeeeeesh. You would think they would all use one packed with ammo food and water. It is like the most basic thing even the most stupid person would do. Okay and they have worn the same clothes all be it one change, they have to be falling off. Yes I am female and every time they shower or swim then climb back into their filthy clothes I cringe LOL

applesauce
)3az )3aziah
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3/12/2013 12:35 PM
Posted By applesauce on 3/12/2013 8:45:11 AM
I have now read the first 39 books. I am reading 3 or 4 a week. What drives me nuts more than anything else is there not a single backpack in all of deathlands sheeeeeesh. You would think they would all use one packed with ammo food and water. It is like the most basic thing even the most stupid person would do. Okay and they have worn the same clothes all be it one change, they have to be falling off. Yes I am female and every time they shower or swim then climb back into their filthy clothes I cringe LOL

applesauce

Welcome aboard,

It is nice to see another girlie around the board, it will save wordsmith feeling all alone...

The group don't carry backpacks (at least in the first 30 odd books) as the original writer (Laurence James) had the view that "they who travel light travel fastest". I discussed this at length with him and his view was six people are not going to fight a war so why force them to carry a small countries weight in ammo?. I suggested that they take bags and boxes of ammo / food into the Mat trans with them just in case where they arrived was empty, again he knocked this back as a lazy writers crutch and too easy to fall back on.

A few years later he did admit that it was the powers that be at GE that put constraints on him, not just with back packs -although JB and Mildred now carry "bottomless, when it suits" bags with stuff in, but with changing weapons, allowing them to set up a base of operations insttead of jumping at random and several other things.

I agree on the clothes point, but I guess a lot of the DL demographic that read the books would sooner read about heads popping or Ryan & Krysty having sex than the group finding new pants!!!

Jim


===============================
Billy Fish: He wants to know if we are gods.
Peachy Carnehan: Not gods - Englishmen. The next best thing.


Please check out my FLICKR photos
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