Thursday, June 6, 2013

Why I Still Love George RR Martin

Once again - this post contains spoilers from the most recent episode of Game of Thrones and the book Storm of Swords.

We'll go back to not Game of Thrones talk after today, I promise. At least for a little while.

Clearly, from yesterday's post, I did not take the "Red Wedding" very well. However - I found this interview with George RR Martin about the Red Wedding. Please, go read it and then come back here. I'll wait.

Here's the thing- as much as it pains me to say it, I respect George RR Martin for his writing and story-telling choices.

First of all, he's an amazing writer. I love the Song of Ice and Fire series. While the books are long and sometimes it takes me awhile to get into them and to finish them - they are incredible well written. I turn green with envy when I think about how carefully he created this fantasy world, the depth of his characters, and the details to the story. It boggles my mind to think that he came up with everything in his books. It makes me think of JRR Tolkien and how he created Middle Earth with all of it's cultures, races, and languages.

Awhile ago I read a blog by one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Chadwick who is known for her historical accuracy, and she said that she loves Game of Thrones and it makes her feel as though she's reading a historical fiction (or maybe even non-fiction!) book because he goes so in depth with his world. It's like all of this is real.

I wish I could think of my stories and characters with such depth and detail.

Another reason to respect him is that he makes the hard choices for the story and goes through with it. As readers, it's hard to say goodbye to characters we love.

Here's the thing- it's even harder for the writer. These characters are their babies. The writer creates them, makes them grow, and knows them better than any reader ever could. Then they have to kill that character, and it's hard. Yet, many times it's necessary for the story.

A couple of years ago during NaNoWriMo, my friend Leah had to stop writing her story. She had to kill one of her favorite characters and she was so upset by it she couldn't continue.

When I write, I have a hard time killing main characters. Heck, I hate killing off characters that are somewhat minor to the story and making my main character bleed a little. It's hard.

Part of it though, is what sort of story you want to tell. I loved his answer for when asked about people's reactions to the red wedding scene.

"People read books for different reasons. I respect that. Some read for comfort. And some of my former readers have said their life is hard, their mother is sick, their dog died, and they read fiction to escape. They don't want to get hit in the mouth with something horrible. And you read that certain kind of fiction where the guy will always get the girl and the good guys win and it reaffirms to you that life is fair. We all want that at times. There's a certain vicarious release to that. So I'm not dismissive of people who want that. But that's not the kind of fiction I write. In most cases. It's certainly not what Ice and Fire is. It tries to be more realistic about what life is. It has joy, but it also has pain and fear. I think the best fiction captures life in in all its light and darkness."

I love that. "I think the best fiction captures life in all its light and darkness."

Now, some could argue that the Song of Ice and Fire books capture more of the darkness - but there's light in there as well when you look at it enough.

As I think about the next book, A Feast for Crows, I feel dread but also excitement.

I don't want the series to go on without some of my favorite characters. There's so much that I wish could happen and how I want the story to end - but now it won't end that way.

But I'm also excited. As Martin said, he writes unpredictably. When you read as much as I do, it becomes somewhat easy to see where the story is headed and what will happen in the end. I try my best to stay away from spoilers and not not make too many predictions, but it happens. With these books - I have no idea what's going to happen. I can make some guesses, but that's all they are. Guesses. I really don't know. Which is fun.

I ranted and raved and threatened that I wouldn't want to keep reading because this scene happened. But I know I'll keep going.

Also- there are things that happened in the book that haven't happened in the TV show yet. So you all are just going to have to wait and see. ;-)

It'll be interesting to see what happens next.

What are your thoughts on Martin, his writing, the TV show, and this interview? Do you think you'll continue with the books and/or TV show? What makes you respect writers?

Also- I found this last night.


  1. I need to get into this series!!!

    1. YOU DO!!!!! It's hard to read and sometimes it's rough to get through. But it is SO GOOD.


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