Game of Thrones Author Admits Pressure to Finish Books Affect Him

Alex Co

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Game of Thrones Author Admits Pressure to Finish Books Affect Him

George R.R. Martin says he's "given up" on answering when the A Song of Ice and Fire novels will be finished, and confirms the pressure from both HBO and fans gets under his skin.

Just last month, George R.R. Martin said that he won't change how he writes his A Song of Ice and Fire novels for impatient fans [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/136101-Game-of-Thrones-Author-Wont-Change-How-He-Writes-for-Impatient-Fans]. Now, in a video interview, Martin admits that the pressure of both fans and HBO for him to finish the Game of Thrones books, do get under his skin and sometimes make it harder for him to buckle down and write.


Yes, to some extent it does, but when the writing is going well it doesn't matter. When I'm there and working, I just kind of fall through my computer screen and I forget the world, I forget deadlines, I forget the TV show, and the emails, and all of that stuff. It's just me and the characters and the world that I'm describing, and I'm writing a page at a time, and a scene at a time, and a word at a time.

Martin also talks about his obligation in finishing the books, and that he's given up on answering the question "when it (the books) will be done?" since whenever he gave a time frame before and it didn't pan out, some people assume he's doing it deliberately. Not only that, but there's even a crazy conspiracy theory among book fans that Martin has the books already finished and is just releasing it in a timely manner to maximize profit, which the author calls as "crazy."


Obligation is an odd word, I don't know if I would go with that word. I certainly feel a desire to finish the book. And it must be said that while I do get a lot of emails and mail of the type you're describing, there are also many, many that are supportive, and probably far more of people saying "take your time, I love your books, whenever you're ready I'll be here." Of course which is an attitude that I find far more pleasant than the "when will it be done?" I've actually given up answering the question "when will it be done?" In the early days, especially after the third book, because the fourth book took a really long time, and I kept being wrong. People said when will it be done, and I'd give an answer and it would not be done by then, I would run into some problem, or decide to rewrite, or I would change course. And once you give a date and then you miss that date, there's an element of the audience that thinks you're doing it deliberately. There are even some strange conspiracy theorists out there who are convinced that I finished the whole thing years ago but I'm just hiding the books in my cellar and releasing them in order to maximize something or other. There's a lot of craziness that goes on, but it's pressure, and the obligation is to the work itself. I'm telling a story, however many books you divide it into, three books, four books, seven books, which is what I'm presently going for, it's one story, as much as as Tolkein's Lord of the Rings is one story. It has a beginning, it has a lot of middle, and eventually it will have an end.

Martin isn't the only one bothered by book fans. Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark in Game of Thrones, confesses that she's "so sick" of snobby book readers [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/136571-Game-of-Thrones-Arya-Stark-So-Sick-of-Book-Readers-Being-Snobby]. Let's hope Martin finishes The Winds of Winter soon. Otherwise, Season 5 of Game of Thrones might find itself deviating from the books a little too much. Have you heard other conspiracy theories as to why Martin hasn't finish all the books yet? What's the craziest one you've heard so far?

Source: Winter is Coming [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APLoxnEWt0Y]


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Somethingfake

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I think Neil Gaiman once told someone on his blog that "George R.R. Martin is not your *****" and it's true. Regardless of if he finishes the series or not, there are plenty of other great books to read in the mean time. Go discover some great stuff!
 

luvd1

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Fek 'em. You owes them nothing. Vampiritic fans and greedy tv executives can do nothing but pout. Close the door on them and enjoy your day George.
 

chozo_hybrid

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I have always wondered why companies decide to make series/films based on works that are yet to be completed. Seems it would have a few disadvantages.
 

Razhem

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luvd1 said:
Fek 'em. You owes them nothing. Vampiritic fans and greedy tv executives can do nothing but pout. Close the door on them and enjoy your day George.
Call me crazy, but poor old George is pretty much choking on money right now thanks to those "vampiric fans and greedy tv executives", it kind of comes with the territory, so less white knighting would be in order me thinks.
 

The Rogue Wolf

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As someone who's undertaken a few creative endeavors (not nearly to the scale of Martin's, mind you), I have to wonder... what is this propensity people have to assume that their favorite story, movie, whatever belongs to them and not the creator? Why do they think that they not only have the right, but the duty to badger the creator to "go faster", to alter the story to suit their whims?

News flash, people: IT DOESN'T HELP ANYTHING. You are not going to get what you want faster by pestering the creator. At best, they'll ignore you; at worst, you'll either get what you want (which will only harm the quality, because that's what rushing things does) or aggravate the creator enough to drive them off from what they were doing completely, and then you'll never get that thing you want.

But people are idiots, so this will only continue.
 

Oly J

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I'm not surprised, if I feel like I'm being badgered to do ANYTHING I feel less like doing it, can't imagine what it's like for him, and the sheer amount of pestering this guy must have to put up with, I wouldn't blame him if he decided not to finish at all and just told them all to go fuck themselves (obviously as a fan of the books I hope it doesn't come to that, but I would understand)
 

RandV80

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Razhem said:
luvd1 said:
Fek 'em. You owes them nothing. Vampiritic fans and greedy tv executives can do nothing but pout. Close the door on them and enjoy your day George.
Call me crazy, but poor old George is pretty much choking on money right now thanks to those "vampiric fans and greedy tv executives", it kind of comes with the territory, so less white knighting would be in order me thinks.
And what's he going to do with all that money? He became a best selling author later in life, and I don't think that exactly rakes in multi-millions and people were doing this complaining before the HBO show. The show itself probably brings him far more money, but when's he going to enjoy it? He's in the latter years of his life and has a huge obligation to finish his work. And for the show it can and possibly will go on without Martin, with people who just watch that being none the wiser.

Also for me this is less about 'white knighting', and more stop bloody harassing the man already you're only going to make the situation worse! Every angry email he receives or hurtful comment he comes across is another potential penny on the scale of him just saying 'fuck em all I'm giving up and enjoying retirement'.
 

Sheen Lantern

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Oh wah wah, I'm a millionaire author who has innumerable fans around the globe who adore my work so much that they vocalize it to me constantly, and the biggest show on TV is based on my book, giving my work more promotion than I ever could have asked for. I have achieved what every artists dreams of when creating their craft and I do is ***** and moan about how all my fans and the people literally giving me money to write actually expect me to get off my fat hairy ass and write every once in a while.
 

Roxas1359

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CorrectAndDone said:
At his age he can drop dead at any moment so he needs to hurry up.
65 is old, but with modern medicine and technology, it's still young to die at 65. Not to mention it's things like that which can actually cause more stress and health problems. Just be calm and be patient, and it will eventually come out. Saying how he could "drop dead at any moment" just makes you sound like someone with no patience.
 

Aiddon_v1legacy

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I say this: don't want the bitching, don't be a writer. It's just how the real world works; you're gonna get people with this kind of attitude due to how invested they've become in the world that you WANT them to be invested in. Whining about people is not going to fix anything and it's going to help get your book out faster.
 

james.sponge

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luvd1 said:
Fek 'em. You owes them nothing. Vampiritic fans and greedy tv executives can do nothing but pout. Close the door on them and enjoy your day George.
It kinda contradicts his philosophy since he was always a very open person when it comes to communicating with fans.

Whatever suits him I guess, if he manages to finish those books I'm definitely going to buy them if not it doesn't matter there are tons of titles to read. I understand it must be difficult for him since he made a rather quick transition from a well-known writer representing a niche literary genre to a creator of one of the most popular stories in western pop culture.
 

Polarity27

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endtherapture said:
Welcome to being a normal person with deadlines and obligations.
That exactly. I should tell my boss to quit badgering me about my deadline, doesn't he know that badgering makes me less apt to want to do my work? It'll get done when it gets done!

Srsly, when did this ever work in the rest of the real world? Yo, professor, don't rush genius, your students will get their papers done when they get them done, man! Obligation is the right word, and yes, he has one.
 

gim73

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Does Martin owe his fans? Hell yeah! The backlash might not be as big if there wasn't an apology at the end of book 4 stating that he went too long and the rest of the characters would be covered in book 5, which should be out in a year. It was seven years before it finally came out (with an insanely long hardback only time as well).

If he does wind up pulling a Robert Jordan, we can only hope that the series will be finished off by Brandon Sanderson. There is one author who never gives an excuse like, 'Vacationing in Spain'. His excuse is, 'This is my fourth book published this year, I'm getting back to that series this month and I should have the next book in bookstores by August of next year.'
 

endtherapture

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Polarity27 said:
endtherapture said:
Welcome to being a normal person with deadlines and obligations.
That exactly. I should tell my boss to quit badgering me about my deadline, doesn't he know that badgering makes me less apt to want to do my work? It'll get done when it gets done!

Srsly, when did this ever work in the rest of the real world? Yo, professor, don't rush genius, your students will get their papers done when they get them done, man! Obligation is the right word, and yes, he has one.
I dislike it when people say that George owes us nothing at all and he can not finish the books if he wants to. Of course, he has a right to do that, but everyone would have the right to be bat-shit angry at him if he gave up on it.

We have invested money and time in his series and if he couldn't be bothered to finish the series that has got him so rich and famous then I'd be pretty pissed off.

Call this entitled or what but yeah.
 

Thyunda

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Polarity27 said:
endtherapture said:
Welcome to being a normal person with deadlines and obligations.
That exactly. I should tell my boss to quit badgering me about my deadline, doesn't he know that badgering makes me less apt to want to do my work? It'll get done when it gets done!

Srsly, when did this ever work in the rest of the real world? Yo, professor, don't rush genius, your students will get their papers done when they get them done, man! Obligation is the right word, and yes, he has one.
Bollocks does he. You bought the books so far, that's as far as his obligation to you goes.
 

Ranorak

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Polarity27 said:
endtherapture said:
Welcome to being a normal person with deadlines and obligations.
That exactly. I should tell my boss to quit badgering me about my deadline, doesn't he know that badgering makes me less apt to want to do my work? It'll get done when it gets done!

Srsly, when did this ever work in the rest of the real world? Yo, professor, don't rush genius, your students will get their papers done when they get them done, man! Obligation is the right word, and yes, he has one.
Except, Martin is not employed by a boss who pays him to do his work.
He makes a product, new books, and sells them.

He alone decides when the product is done, when he wants to sell it, and IF he even wants to finish it.
He's not getting paid to write, he's getting paid for his books. No books, no paid. But no one, can force him to finish it.
 

IndomitableSam

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Ranorak said:
Polarity27 said:
endtherapture said:
Welcome to being a normal person with deadlines and obligations.
That exactly. I should tell my boss to quit badgering me about my deadline, doesn't he know that badgering makes me less apt to want to do my work? It'll get done when it gets done!

Srsly, when did this ever work in the rest of the real world? Yo, professor, don't rush genius, your students will get their papers done when they get them done, man! Obligation is the right word, and yes, he has one.
Except, Martin is not employed by a boss who pays him to do his work.
He makes a product, new books, and sells them.

He alone decides when the product is done, when he wants to sell it, and IF he even wants to finish it.
He's not getting paid to write, he's getting paid for his books. No books, no paid. But no one, can force him to finish it.
Actually, no. He has a publisher and has signed contracts. If he doesn't produce by the deadline(s) outlined in the contract, the publisher probably won't do anything as they want him to stay with them, but lawsuits can and do happen. It's a job just like any other. However, he does have "star" power so he can pretty much finish when he wants to and the publisher is basically his *****.