When Does a Book Become Too Complex?

Hi everyone!

When does a book become too complex?

Image Source - imgur.com
Image Source – imgur.com

…and I get the eerie feeling a lot of people just thought about A Song of Ice and Fire, heheh.  I do really need to read those.

So perhaps I should rethink my question, which is both asked of all of you, my awesome readers, and of myself.  There are some stories that are beautifully simple, yet are done so in such an elegant way that their subtleties keep academics talking for centuries.

Image Source - losangelesfilm.org
Image Source – losangelesfilm.org

Then there are those enjoy stories similar to George R. R. Martin’s novels, where they are so incredibly complex and cover so much in each book.  These kinds of stories can also interest readers, to the point of obsession with details.

Is there a hard and fast rule?  I’ve touched on a similar topic before, regarding there being too many ‘main’ characters in a story (click here to read that article :) ).  But I’m starting to think there are no hard and fast rules, and it all boils down to the need for complexity to convey a story, and the writer’s skill to ensure nothing is arbitrary or wasted, and every complexity is engaging and interesting.

Which leads me to the point of this article…

The Sword of Dragons Book 3 – More Than Two Stories

cardin2For those of you who have read the first “The Sword of Dragons” novel, you’ll know that the story followed two primary Point of Views (PoV’s), that of Cardin Kataar and Kailar Adanna.  There are a few chapters here and there where I had to diverge into another character’s PoV (Dalin in chapter 5, for instance.)  But mostly, it was Cardin and Kailar’s story.

The same is true about the upcoming 2nd book in the series, Burning Skies, it focuses on two characters’ PoV’s.  Again there are a couple of exceptions, but mostly that’s it.

Book 3 is on course to divert from that standard.  Specifically, there would be 3 primary Points of View, with a multitude of chapters that tell part of the story from others, including Cardin’s father Drageus Kataar, Prince Beredis, and Dalin.

All of this is necessary due to the complexity of events, and the story I wish to tell.  All of the differing story lines link together in the final third of the novel, and I personally love stories that take separate story threads and tie them together.

So what do you all think?  How many PoV’s is too many for you when reading a book?  Do you turn away from stories where there are too many moving parts?  Or do you love them and wish there were more?  I’d love to hear everyone’s opinion, so please comment below!  :D

Shorter Posts More Often

The votes are in, from here, Facebook, and from people who have spoken to me in person: shorter articles, more often, is desired.  Thanks to everyone who gave feedback!  I’ll try to update at least a couple of times per week, if not more :)

Thanks for reading!
-Jon Wasik

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6 thoughts on “When Does a Book Become Too Complex?”

  1. Good luck on a Song of Fire and Ice. The beginning of the book is rough because it does little to introduce you to people/places/things but once you get into it the complexity is something that I enjoyed.

  2. I think that the complexity of books like those in the a Song of Fire and Ice is what makes them so loved. People can get completely absorbed in them because it’s an entire detailed world!

    1. That’s very true. As a reader, I love exploring new worlds :) But as a writer, I also love it, because as I create them, I’m also exploring them. I don’t know if that makes any sense, lol, but the best part really is sharing that experience with readers :D

  3. I’m currently in the last parts of book two and I am struggling with it. Perhaps it’s because I enjoy the show much more and the Bran character bores me to tears. I think different point of view books are nice because you get to see it from another character. However, I don’t usually like more than 5 points of view in a book. That may be my other problem with the books.

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