Some of these authors you may know; some of them are from our bookshelf at home; some are known by reputation. Regardless, here’s my point: for the love of your joints, please only buy these books in e-format. Otherwise your state may require you to get a license for a concealed weapon.
Now, on their own, Salvatore’s book aren’t that lengthy. We’re talking 352 pages in Siege of Darkness. The real problem is the prolific body of work the man has put out. He’s a machine. You can either buy his over 50 published fantasy books individually, or in the interest of cost and bookshelf space, buy the compilations. There’s at least 6 that I know of currently. Oh, did I mention saving space on your bookshelf? As it happens, the compilations are a double-edged sword. I’m looking at Legacy of the Drow right now. It contains four books, including Siege of Darkness. One is easier to keep up with than four right? Oh, no wait! This book has 1077 pages. Doing a rough count, there are 533,115 words in this book. And there are five more just in this universe. I think I just caught arthritis.
This cute little couple didn’t start out writing giant novels. Much like R.A. Salvatore, they wrote a bunch of regular sized novels all in the same world. Then after they finished those two series containing five books each, the wrote two heifer sized companions. Let me break it down for you. One book, just one book as an “add-on” to their big series has approximately 318,285 words (Polgara the Sorceress). A good day for me is writing 2,000 words. In other words it would take me 5 months and change, writing every day, consistently hitting my word goal, straight. Forget editing, this is just getting it out. Ow.
Are you noticing a trend here? These authors start out small, then go batshit insane. The Sorcer’s Stone 76,944 words. The Deathly Hallows 198,227. That’s more than double the size. Did I love every word of it? Absolutely. Did I have to wear wrist braces from holding up the hardcover edition for my all night read through? Um, yeah.
As far as authors go, I’m convinced this guy’s a sadist. Not only does he kill of characters willy nilly, regardless of their prominence in each book, he makes them long as hell. And then, to add insult to injury, he takes seven damn years to write one. Seven years! Between books four and five! Arrgh! If I didn’t want to read it so bad, I’d just pummel myself with it a few times and end it.
Before Les Misérables was made into a Tony winning play, it was actually a book. No, not a book by Cameron Macintosh, and actual author named Victor Hugo wrote it. And wrote it. And wrote it. For seventeen years. After that, 513,000 words doesn’t seems as impressive, does it? Well, forget how long it took, it incited serious social change in 19th century France. Have some flipping respect.
This guy is what your high school English teacher threatened you with. “Look, it’s not like I’m asking you to read War and Peace, now am I?” Back then it was just something adults said to try to guilt you into doing your assigned reading. Little did you know! War and Peace is actually 560,000 words. Finishing this book gets you an honorary degree from some universities. From the Google machine, I’ve found out that you can probably read 200-250 words per minute, if you’re a fast (not speed) reader. That means it would take you forty-six hours to finish this book, as long as you kept up that speed. Doesn’t sound so hard? Go here to see how many WPM you read. I hit 200, and I burn through books.
Okay. Here’s what I understand: you want to write a piece of fiction that makes a political statement. You want to introduce your philosophy to the world. Fine. All I’m saying is that if it takes you 645,000 words to do it, maybe you should think about paraphrasing. This woman is the poster child for learning how to write a mission statement. I know it’s popular. I know it’s considered a great work of literature. But damn. 645,000 words? No wonder she became depressed after finishing. How would you ever have anything left to say?
Look, I’m not saying there is anything wrong with any of these books, or the authors. Just, for the sake of the rainforest and your future medical bills, buy the eBook.
Happy reading, happy writing.