It is no secret that A Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin is severely past his due date for The Winds of Winter, the sixth installation of his A Song of Ice and Fire series; so much so that the Game of Thrones television series on HBO has surpassed the book. While the series has two more seasons and approximately 13 hours before it’s wrapped up for good, there is still no release date for The Winds of Winter.
George R. R. Martin created a monster once he teamed up with HBO to create the hit fantasy series Game of Thrones, and the success of the show has taken him away from his writing obligations. Martin is admittedly a slow writer, and even if he hadn’t copped to it, the fact that it took him 20 years to write five books says it all. According to The Star, it has been 1,809 days and counting since A Dance With Dragons was published, and fans are letting him know in no uncertain terms that they want the next book — now!
— Ashley Boykin (@brettdresseur) June 20, 2016
While publishers and fans would like to dictate how long it should take an artist to create their masterpieces, it doesn’t quite work that way for the majority of artists, whether they be writers, or painters, or singers. Many have to be inspired or in a certain mindset to get the creative juices flowing.
According to The Star, the 67-year-old author admitted to missing an October 2015, The Winds of Winter deadline and his publisher, Bantam Books gave him another two months, which he also missed. In a post from his Lost Post blog, George R. R. Martin gave his fans an honest portrayal of his struggles to complete the book, including the ups and downs of Game of Thrones fame — the ups being the parties and the accolades; the downs being that he’s been too busy to focus on the task at hand.
“There’s also a lot still left to write. I am months away still… and that’s if the writing goes well. (Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn’t.) Chapters still to write, of course… but also rewriting. I always do a lot of rewriting, sometimes just polishing, sometimes pretty major restructures.”
I’m not so sure the show has a Sansa problem, I think it has a “shows are 7 days apart” problem. #GameOfThrones
— The Winds of Winter (@TWOWRelease) June 22, 2016
Saffron Beckwith, president of Toronto-based book sales agency Ampersand says that Martin’s schedule is a bit unorthodox.
“Ideally, publishers want a new book in a series out every single year.”
Apparently, so do fans who aren’t happy about the pace and no one knows that better than supernatural fantasy writer Kelly Armstrong, best known for her Women of the Otherworld series, remembers feeling the pressure when her 2001 werewolf novel Bitten, took off.
“Once you are into a successful series it’s really hard to tune out the noise. As the series goes on you hear, ‘What do you mean I have to wait an entire year for a book?'”
Writing epic novels is daunting, energy draining, and all-encompassing, and it was certainly Martin’s intention – and everyone else’s expectation – that in five years time he would have finished writing The Winds of Winter before the corresponding Game of Thrones season aired on television, but that didn’t happen.
And it’s not like Martin isn’t trying; he has stopped writing for the television series and is focusing his energies on completing The Winds of Winter. He has also pared down his public appearances, except for that interview with Steven King last week in New Mexico where he asked the question most writer’s (including this one) want to know, “How the f— do you write so fast?”
Watchers on the Wall impatiently crunched some numbers last year and determined that if George R. R. Marin stuck to the same 287 pages a year that he accomplished with A Dance With Dragons, he would complete The Winds of Winter by early 2017, so Martin still has time to make that prediction come true and that blogger very happy.
George RR Martin and Stephen King conversation from a few days ago
1 hour long! https://t.co/6AfsPr310S
Thank me later.
— IdeologicalMasochist (@Ceiphulislam) June 26, 2016
Those who skipped past the books couldn’t care less about the next novel; they are all caught up and happy that all of their questions have been answered, and with Game of Thrones Season 6, Episode 10 over and done with, a new round of fan speculation can begin. Obviously, Martin won’t finish the seventh book, A Dream of Spring, before the series ends… and all the number crunching in the world isn’t going to make him write any faster… and he isn’t about to let someone else take over.
It’s best to let the man do what he does at the pace he wants to do it. Sure, in a world of instant gratification waiting is difficult; but if we have already waited five years for The Winds of Winter, we have no choice but to wait until George R. R. Martin is done — even if it takes another five years.
[Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images]