So I’m sure the whole world knows by now. George R. R. Martin will not be publishing THE WINDS OF WINTER in 2015. We’ve got another year of waiting folks.
When I first heard the story, of course I went into my mourning period. Does that mean more filler for GAME OF THRONES? More bloated monologues, more deviations from the plot, slower pacing to drag things out? I mean there’s still tons of stuff the show hasn’t gotten to yet, but that’s mostly because the writers are so afraid of overtaking the source material that they’re slowing everything down to a crawl to give Martin more time to write. It’s just gonna get worse this year.
But then, all of this eventually got me thinking about a lot of stuff: the writing process, schedules, deadlines, and readers thirsty for story. I’ve heard plenty of stories of writers who can write quickly and get them to market to keep their readership happy. Depends on the type of book, of course. But even in YA we’ve got some fast writers out there. Veronica Roth, author of the DIVERGENT series, apparently wrote the first book in like a month. But then there are some who take several months just to put a draft down. It varies.
For me, I’m somewhere in between. I can’t write a book in a month, especially if it’s got big ideas and requires heavy world building, but if given a deadline, I’m pretty damn timely (comes with being a PhD student – you’re used to deadlines). At the same time, as mad as I am as a fan at Martin, I can understand that in the life of a writer, sometimes shit just happens, and the draft just isn’t ready. Anything can happen in life. Anything can slow you down, take up your time, squeeze out your inspiration and your creativity and leave the words dry. Sometimes it takes time. Sometimes it takes a LOT of time. And with a series as huge and complex as ASOIAF, and with the ginormous pressure on his shoulders, I can see this being a situation where he might need to take…um…years…to put out a quality product we can all be proud of.
For most of us writers, though, I doubt it’d be possible, unless you’re already an established author with an established fanbase. But if you’re relatively new on the scene and you put out book 1, you can’t put out book 2 seven years later or your momentum is gone. You have to keep writing, keep putting your books out there, your names out there. Martin just doesn’t have that problem. He can afford to take his time…
But I am already starting to see a lot of disgruntled grumblings out there. I really do hope, from a fan’s perspective, he puts his work out there soon, if only to stem the inevitable tide of nerd rage.