My theme for the A to Z Blogging Challenge this year is a mishmash of books, movies, writers and TV shows that have in one way or another taught me something about writing and helped me be a better writer. Some inspired my own stories and a few taught me what not to do. Each post is a one minute lesson on writing. And stop by IWSG blog for some inspiration all month long.
Most readers and writers have heard of The Game of Thrones and George RR Martin who writes the book series, A Song of Fire and Ice. The books are famous for killing off popular characters and HBO has rocketed the series to stardom. For the show fans who haven't read the books, some of the violent endings to characters is shocking. Martin is also know by book fans as one of the most frustratingly slow writers ever. His longest stretch between books in a series is 6 years. That's a long time to keep readers waiting and a good way for most writers to lose fans. Thanks to the HBO series, Martin continues to sell the first books in the series. I had started reading the series years before the TV show came into being so the violent deaths didn't surprise me. That HBO would make the show
knowing that the writer hadn't finished the books yet did surprise me. The show is good. The books are good though not my favorite. Martin had been accused by fans of being lazy, not having the story plotted out and not knowing where its characters are going or where it will end. Some think he kills characters just for the shock, or that he has too many plots going and is constantly adding new characters and ignoring the story lines of the original characters.
Lesson: If you're going to write really slow, you better have a loyal fan base. Slow won't work for most of us. Kill your characters if it makes the story better but not just for shock. Know the ending of your story before you start it. If HBO offers you a contract, write at whatever pace you want.
"When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die" Cersei Lannister
"A dragon is not a slave." Daenerys Targaryen
How quickly do you expect an author to write the next book in a series? Know any authors slower than Martin? Have you read a book where a character's death disturbed and didn't seem to make the book better? Are you a fan of these books or the HBO show?