George R.R. Martin "Astonished" by Fans After Winds of Winter Delay

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George R.R. Martin "Astonished" by Fans After Winds of Winter Delay

George Martin

George R.R. Martin says that he's received thousands of supportive comments and messages following his reveal that The Winds of Winter will be delayed.

George R.R. Martin recently revealed The Winds of Winter, the next chapter in his long running Song of Ice and Fire novel series, is not going to be released anytime soon. With Game of Thrones, the HBO series based on the books, pushing steadily forward, fans of the books now stand to find themselves in a position where the TV show will spoil the books rather than the usual status quo of vice versa. The announcement, in turn, left more than a few book fans feeling angry.

Speaking about the issue again recently however, Martin shared that it's not the negative responses that have left him feeling "astonished," but rather the influx of support. "The outpouring of support in response to my post on THE WINDS OF WINTER has been astonishing," wrote Martin in a Livejournal post on Saturday. "There were forty pages of screened comments on the post by the time I logged on this morning. I haven't even been able to read half of them as yet... I cannot tell you how much I appreciate all the kind words and good wishes." He ended the post by labeling his current mood as "rejuvenated."

While it's a little bit depressing that Martin would be surprised by Ice and Fire fans reacting to him positively, his response shouldn't come as much of a surprise considering the vitriol he's had to deal with from disgruntled readers in the past. That being the case, good on people for letting him know that he and his work are appreciated. Creative work is hard even when you're as successful as George R.R. Martin. Knowing people like what you're doing can be a huge inspiration to move forward in moments of difficulty.

Source: Livejournal

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I support George because I wouldn't envy his position one bit (except for the money maybe). Writing for television and the production machinery behind it were always going to outstrip one man and one computer.

Livejournal still exists and George R R Martin uses it? Wow.

I know how difficult it is to write anything of meaning. I can crap out A+ quality term papers, essays, etc., but even though I love creative writing and I've written 100s of stories ranging from short to novel length, the stuff I've finished is not personally print worthy and the stuff I think has a chance is still miles away from being finished.
I've been working on the same story for 15 years, for example, and I think it has potential, maybe not NYT best-seller or anything but I can't figure out a proper ending.
I feel for published writers who're either personally or contracturally compelled to write by a deadline and are stumped as to how to finish their story. GRRM will be done when he's done and hope he doesn't kill himself finishing the book. More than likely there's still one more behind this and I'd hate to see him go before he's fleshed it out.

I saw the title and immediately assumed this was going to be about people proving the idea behind the GIFT accurate. Nice to be proven wrong.

Just release a 1500 page book, I'll still read it.

They're just offering support because they're afraid he'll die before the book is published.

Also good luck selling the book George if the show starts spoiling it.

Silentpony:
They're just offering support because they're afraid he'll die before the book is published.

Also good luck selling the book George if the show starts spoiling it.

You always post something negative about George and/or his fans on every thread about him, is the hate really necessary?

IOwnTheSpire:

Silentpony:
They're just offering support because they're afraid he'll die before the book is published.

Also good luck selling the book George if the show starts spoiling it.

You always post something negative about George and/or his fans on every thread about him, is the hate really necessary?

Hey whoa, I have never posted on George or his fans before. And its not hate. Its legit. The previous book sold well because people wanted to know what was going to happen in the show. If the show starts again before the next book is out, truly good luck selling it. For the majority of the fans there's no point buying the book if the show has already passed it.

This is really a case between two kinds of people.

Thoose who realize he is a working human being and that writing a book is not exactly a cakewalk. Thoose who realize that the fact that this series even exists is a privilage.

And the others who believe they are entitled to his work by some kind of birthright, selfish assholes.

See, George? Just say it's delayed, but explain that you are working on it, and fans will understand.

I think what got him negative comments in the past was his attitude towards working on the book. Fans will react differently to an author saying a book is delayed, but being worked on, and an author saying basically "It'll come out when it comes out, and the more you bug me, the less likely I am to work on it," no matter how justified he is in saying the latter.

Silentpony:

IOwnTheSpire:

Silentpony:
They're just offering support because they're afraid he'll die before the book is published.

Also good luck selling the book George if the show starts spoiling it.

You always post something negative about George and/or his fans on every thread about him, is the hate really necessary?

Hey whoa, I have never posted on George or his fans before. And its not hate. Its legit. The previous book sold well because people wanted to know what was going to happen in the show. If the show starts again before the next book is out, truly good luck selling it. For the majority of the fans there's no point buying the book if the show has already passed it.

The thing is, you're most likely wrong. A lot of people were introduced to a Song of Ice and Fire after watching the TV show and had already had major plot points spoiled. Moreover, Martin's versions of events are much more complex and in some places completely different from what happens on the show. What happened with Brienne in season 5 did nothing to resolve a cliffhanger from the last time we saw her in book 4. I want to see what happens to that version of her character as well as the many other characters that never made it into the show.

Seraj33:
This is really a case between two kinds of people.

Thoose who realize he is a working human being and that writing a book is not exactly a cakewalk. Thoose who realize that the fact that this series even exists is a privilage.

And the others who believe they are entitled to his work by some kind of birthright, selfish assholes.

Can't I just be somebody frustrated with the massive drop-off in released content, without feeling entitled to it? The first three books are some of my favorites of all time. But then Martin opted to continuously expand the scope of his series, to the point where the last two novels each took 5+ years to write and, combined, probably feature less plot development than any one of the preceding books. And now, here we are, having waited five years since Dance and still unsure of when the next book comes out.

I mean, we're allowed to criticize, right? A few years ago, I'd have gladly justified the wait I'm experiencing with the quality of the first three installations. But it's getting to the point where I'm losing faith that I'll ever get either quality or closure from this series again, at least from the books.

I think GRRM grievously erred in the period following Storm of Swords by broadening the scope of his story and adding too many POV characters to reasonably continue pushing the plot forward at an attractive rate. Time will tell, of course, and I'd love to hold a complete series in my hands a few years from now and be happy with where it all went. But, currently, I'm just not convinced he, or anybody, has what it takes to finish this thing at all, let alone with high quality.

Martin only got to where he is now because of his fans, so it's good that people are continuing to support him. I'm sure that between everything that he has to do between the show, convention appearances, editing, and life in general, not to mention keeping things creative and interesting, I'm sure that it's difficult to just sit down and WRITE. It is for me, and I'm just a student.

On the other hand...

I kind of gave up on A Song of Ice and Fire a long ass time ago. Six years between books was just way too long for me to maintain my emotional investment in the characters and the story. I have found smaller-named and, quite frankly, more interesting authors since then, so my literary plate is quite full anyway. Once the final book is released, as in I can actually see it on the shelf at Barnes and Noble, I'll sit down and re-read the series to get back into things.

StewShearer:
SNIP

Well...no. I mean you may want to know what happens in both mediums, but the books have been around since what? '96? '97? Something like that.
And the massive fanbase only started after the show started. I would say a majority of the fanbase truly read the books to know what happens in the show or at least how it stacks up against the show. With the show over-taking the books, I'm predicting the sales of the book won't be anywhere close to what they would have been had the book met its deadlines.

Yojoo:

Seraj33:
This is really a case between two kinds of people.

Thoose who realize he is a working human being and that writing a book is not exactly a cakewalk. Thoose who realize that the fact that this series even exists is a privilage.

And the others who believe they are entitled to his work by some kind of birthright, selfish assholes.

Can't I just be somebody frustrated with the massive drop-off in released content, without feeling entitled to it? The first three books are some of my favorites of all time. But then Martin opted to continuously expand the scope of his series, to the point where the last two novels each took 5+ years to write and, combined, probably feature less plot development than any one of the preceding books. And now, here we are, having waited five years since Dance and still unsure of when the next book comes out.

I mean, we're allowed to criticize, right? A few years ago, I'd have gladly justified the wait I'm experiencing with the quality of the first three installations. But it's getting to the point where I'm losing faith that I'll ever get either quality or closure from this series again, at least from the books.

I think GRRM grievously erred in the period following Storm of Swords by broadening the scope of his story and adding too many POV characters to reasonably continue pushing the plot forward at an attractive rate. Time will tell, of course, and I'd love to hold a complete series in my hands a few years from now and be happy with where it all went. But, currently, I'm just not convinced he, or anybody, has what it takes to finish this thing at all, let alone with high quality.

Well one thing is for sure. The show is gonna conclude long before the books conclude.

I blame the fact that he chose to write the script and screenplay for the show all.

Rarely do I here an author of a book also write for any visual adaption.

The only time I heard of that situation was Mario Puzo co-writing for Godfather 2.

This is news?

jesus the Southpark "safe space" episode was even more spot on than I could have imagined.

How is it over there in your bubbles Americans?

It's his story to tell and should be told at the pace of and in the manner in which he chooses.

As for the show overtaking the books, I don't understand why it's been made to be such a big deal. Up until season 5, the books were ahead of the show, thus readers knew what would happen already while the viewers did not. What difference is there if it's the other way around? The show hasn't been spoiled by the readers any more than the books will be spoiled by the viewers.

It's really frustrating waiting for his books to be finished but I'd definitely rather they be good than punctual. It's nice that he's getting more support than vitriol, I don't know what kind of idiot could belive that you can insult someone into writing faster.

I really hope this delay isn't so that he can add in a few extra POV characters though...

So now the show watchers will be ahead of us book readers? This . . . this can't be!

Silentpony:

StewShearer:
SNIP

Well...no. I mean you may want to know what happens in both mediums, but the books have been around since what? '96? '97? Something like that.
And the massive fanbase only started after the show started. I would say a majority of the fanbase truly read the books to know what happens in the show or at least how it stacks up against the show. With the show over-taking the books, I'm predicting the sales of the book won't be anywhere close to what they would have been had the book met its deadlines.

I have to agree. While the books weren't exactly obscure before the show, they certainly weren't the pop-culture phenomenon they are now. Speaking as someone who started reading ASoIaF between seasons 4 and 5 mostly because I didn't want to wait for next season, I'm well aware that I'm far from alone in that regard. Plenty of people did as I did, and I've seen no small number of people now saying they probably won't bother reading the books anymore now that it seems likely the show will be retro by the time the books catch up.
That's not to say the books won't sell well, since they are still far more detailed have a lot of variation from the show, but I agree that being left in the dust will likely hamper their sales now that people will no longer be tempted to buy them specifically to get their fix. The slightly underwhelming reception of the last two books and their infamous bloating isn't likely to help either.
With that said, I'll still be picking up a copy pretty much as soon as it hits shelves.

I really felt like negative fan reaction to Martin's delays were blown way out of proportion back when it was still news.

Maybe that's because it feels really stupid to try and hurry up and author. Even more stupid than pouring vitriol over him, because he is delaying new books.

My beef with Martin is that a Dance With Dragons was an absolute pile of horseshit. So I am not surprised that people aren't holding their breath for new books in the series.

For those who keep complaining about how long it's taking him to finish the next book...

"George R.R. Martin is not your bitch." - Neil Gaiman

I kind of get his troubles. I dislike deadlines, specially when other people decide them, and probably tend to do better when I do things on my own terms, and they're done when they're done - meaning, they're usually done earlier without deadline.
Besides, no reason to be pissed off at him, he's frank and honest, and, unlike with Dance with Dragons, he hasn't spent time telling people book was nearly ready, 4 years before its actual release. He's learned the lesson and has quite well managed communication, so far. And it's clear he wants to finish it and is trying hard to write and get it done.
While he didn't mention it, I think his efforts to salvage the Hugos from their current messy infighting also slowed things down when it comes to writing Winds of Winter. Not that I'd hold this against him, it's understandable, and he's done a great job trying to avoid things going downhill as bad as they could go, trying to act like an adult in charge (for an example of allegedly adult people badly managing such a situation to the point of having things go nuclear, see Gamergate :p ); not sure it was enough to avoid things going downhill for good, but he did his best and it's not his fault.

Still, the original mistake was probably selling rights and doing the show before he was actually writing the very last book. Though I can't fault him much for that, because there's a good cast, because it was HBO, because first seasons were mostly quite great. A shame, it was a terrible dilemma. We'll never know if we would've got a better show, had he decided to wait another 10 years to make a TV series deal - though we'd have an earlier ending to the book series, and wouldn't have any spoiler from the TV series.

Silentpony:
Also good luck selling the book George if the show starts spoiling it.

Considering the first books sales increased greatly after the series aired, so when people already knew what was happening in first book, I'd expect some viewers to buy it. Readers-first of course will flock.
Of course, I don't think Winds of Winter will have any chance to compete with the insane Dance with Dragons release sales numbers, but I'd expect it to perform far better than the first 4 books did, because reader base has vastly expanded.
Sure, publishers would be disappointed not to have a second Dance monster seller on their hands, but that was close to a one-time event, considering the situation.
Last book (so 7 or 8 :D ) sales will be higher, I suppose, for obvious reasons.

Seraj33:
And the others who believe they are entitled to his work by some kind of birthright, selfish assholes.

Some, sure. But many readers have reasons not to be really glad with the situation, because they're the ones who bought the book and got word-of-mouth in the wider world. They're one of the key reasons why it was made a show. Without readers, you can write a great book, but it won't matter much to your bank account.
Now, this doesn't mean they can expect a new book every couple of years. They just should expect GRRM to try to finish the series, without putting it aside for a decade to work on fully different projects for instance, and they can expect - and should ask - him to write the best possible book, like he did earlier. Some kind of entitlement isn't totally ridiculous, but it is a limited one. Basically, first part of this post is quite clear that I support him, wish him good, and hope he can write a good book - I obviously don't fear him messing it up and botching the job by rushing it, it's clear he tries to write quality first, even with the huge pressure he's facing now.

Samtemdo8:
I blame the fact that he chose to write the script and screenplay for the show all.
Rarely do I here an author of a book also write for any visual adaption.

He's spent years if not decades writing TV scripts, so it's not a wonder.
That said, he only wrote one episode per season, for the first 4 seasons, he didn't write all of the scripts - 5th season, he knew he had delayed too much the writing of next book, and he probably wasn't very happy with many changes in the show, so he withdrew from writing team.

I'm amazed at how many guardians Martin can still muster.

I'll tell my boss that I'm just not feeling the magic while coding and I need more inspiration (but hey, keep that salary coming pops!) and lets see how that goes.

Thing is, Martin is overvalued as all hell, if all 5 books were amazing pieces of literature, I'd shut up and agree to just give him his space, but the last 2 were horseshit compared to the first 3 and have set up a wonderful landscape to almost ensure that book 6 will also be rubbish unless half the chapter characters die in the first chapter AND he does a fucking timeskip so that the kids and young people plots can finally advance.

He is the George Lucas and Tim Schafer of the writing world, people finally understood that the previous two aren?t some bloody geniuses without fault, the first is now clearly recognized like the gigantic hack with a fluke that he is and the second one has shown why no publisher wants to even hear his name, the both needed LIMITS and without them created rubbish. Yes, they produced some amazing stuff, but they certainly don't deserve the praise and protection and free passes the happen to get. Same goes for Martin, but he will fall and hard once the HBO series is finished, people stop giving a shit about the novels since the next one will come out probably 2 years after the series ends and the people that still care and actually read it will be so underwhelmed between what is his current downward quality trend, the hype that is outright unreachable at this stage of the game and the fact that they'll have to wait another decade to a possible ending of a story that started strong but started meandering and shuffling it's feet everywhere.

good to hear there are some sane people left...

Razhem:

He is the George Lucas and Tim Schafer of the writing world, .

This is complete bullshit!
They both NEVER delivered anything they promised, Martin just needs more tim deliver something great.

Imperioratorex Caprae:
I know how difficult it is to write anything of meaning. I can crap out A+ quality term papers, essays, etc., but even though I love creative writing and I've written 100s of stories ranging from short to novel length, the stuff I've finished is not personally print worthy and the stuff I think has a chance is still miles away from being finished.
I've been working on the same story for 15 years, for example, and I think it has potential, maybe not NYT best-seller or anything but I can't figure out a proper ending.
I feel for published writers who're either personally or contracturally compelled to write by a deadline and are stumped as to how to finish their story. GRRM will be done when he's done and hope he doesn't kill himself finishing the book. More than likely there's still one more behind this and I'd hate to see him go before he's fleshed it out.

Do what Jim Butcher does when he can't think of how to transition from one scene to another. Blow stuff up.

...seriously, that's what he does. Insert action scene, transition from there. xD

OT: I've never understood the level of proprietary rage that fans have over stuff. As if it's their IP, not someone else's. Books take lots of time to write, even more time when they are doorstops like the GoT books are. And he's a notoriously slow writer, long before the series came out, which is eating up more of his time. It's not really a surprise.

Personally, I don't really care. I got pretty burned out on the GoT books with the...4th book? The next to last publication, whatever that was called. He focused WAAAY too much on the perspective of my 2 most hated characters, so it made the book torture, instead of fun.

Meanwhile, Brandon Sanderson continues to crank out several high quality novels every year. I mean, yes, there's gonna be a long wait until the next Mistborn series or Stormlight Archive novel, but he still has other work out there.

Hell, Jim Butcher's managed to make Dresden books near annually, and he also does some other side projects too.

Also, anyone using Livejournal really needs a slap on the head and a mandatory installation of a Wordpress account.

Razhem:
I'm amazed at how many guardians Martin can still muster.

I'll tell my boss that I'm just not feeling the magic while coding and I need more inspiration (but hey, keep that salary coming pops!) and lets see how that goes.

Unlike coding or other jobs, creative writing isn't a 9-5 job or something you can just sit down and do on a whim; you NEED inspiration, you NEED to be in the right mindset, and you NEED time to work on it. Do you really think someone can produce quality writing within a reasonable amount of time when everyone's putting all this pressure on him?

Gone Rampant:
Meanwhile, Brandon Sanderson continues to crank out several high quality novels every year. I mean, yes, there's gonna be a long wait until the next Mistborn series or Stormlight Archive novel, but he still has other work out there.

Hell, Jim Butcher's managed to make Dresden books near annually, and he also does some other side projects too.

Also, anyone using Livejournal really needs a slap on the head and a mandatory installation of a Wordpress account.

Not everyone has the same writing method. Saying that one writer (or a handful of them) are able to churn out books, doesn't mean everyone can at the same pace. Hell Jim himself has frequently stated that his method is HIS method. He doesn't say that it will necessarily work for everyone. He has said however, that when he forces himself to write, not because he's feeling inspired to write, but because "I'm going to churn out several thousand words today, even if I'm not feeling it." He has stated that afterwards, when he goes back and reads through is material, he can't tell the difference in the parts written while "in the zone", versus not. But that's just him.

Brandon Sanderson for example, is a compulsive writer. This has been stated by other writers, who are friends with him. He does it because he can't really stop himself. Other writers, like Patrick Rothfuss for example, are more compulsive editors, and spend months, years even, trying to find the perfect wording for their stories.

Creativity is a nebulous thing. And expecting one person to fit into the model of another is simply unrealistic.

Am I the only person who just wants him to go back to writing/editing the Wild Cards series? 'cause I grew up on that shit.

Happyninja42:
Not everyone has the same writing method. Saying that one writer (or a handful of them) are able to churn out books, doesn't mean everyone can at the same pace. Hell Jim himself has frequently stated that his method is HIS method. He doesn't say that it will necessarily work for everyone. He has said however, that when he forces himself to write, not because he's feeling inspired to write, but because "I'm going to churn out several thousand words today, even if I'm not feeling it." He has stated that afterwards, when he goes back and reads through is material, he can't tell the difference in the parts written while "in the zone", versus not. But that's just him.

Brandon Sanderson for example, is a compulsive writer. This has been stated by other writers, who are friends with him. He does it because he can't really stop himself. Other writers, like Patrick Rothfuss for example, are more compulsive editors, and spend months, years even, trying to find the perfect wording for their stories.

Creativity is a nebulous thing. And expecting one person to fit into the model of another is simply unrealistic.

This, very much this. Not every author is made for writing day in and day out. Just like people, authors are different too. I write as a hobby, and sometimes I get sick of what I'm currently writing, feeling the urge to write something different for a change. Doesn't mean I hate what I am working on, no, I might even think it's pretty damn good, it's just that sometimes my brain needs to focus on something else. Writing something completely new for a change can be relaxing and revive your creativity. I just can't imagine how tired Martin is of having worked on this series for ages, writing about the same characters in the same world in the same style, trying to make everything come together without violating character motivations, simple logic and underlying themes (cough).

Honestly, I'm not even that excited for this book anymore. I was able to read the first 5 back to back so the exclusion of characters wasn't a big deal for me, but I wouldn't pretend that the last two were particularly great books. I feel bad for the guy because he's under such a huge amount of pressure, but I really don't see how WoW could live up to the hype.

At least I have Stephen Erikson who, in my opinion, juggles more characters, more places, and more plotlines much better than Martin. Plus, he wrote his ten book series (almost all of which are as big or bigger than Martin's works) in just twelve years. It's definitely not for everyone though. It's one of the hardest series to get into because he essentially thrusts you into the middle of everything with little to no exposition.

You can't really fault Martin though, there's obviously not going to be anyone who's as harsh a critic as himself so it's completely understandable that he wants to take his time. Not only that, writing/creativity in general works in many different ways, Martin has always said that he tends to write in bursts.

Razhem:
I'll tell my boss that I'm just not feeling the magic while coding and I need more inspiration (but hey, keep that salary coming pops!) and lets see how that goes.

And when your coding job requires you to come up with, expand and perpetuate an entire fictional world full of characters and events and history, come back and let us know.

(I'm not defending Martin; I'm just deriding some guy who thinks he knows what writing is like.)

I should probably mention that I'm actually fairly optimistic about the next book, and I can explain why. Part of the reason that I suspect the previous two books were so mediocre likely has to do with their place in the series. Ever heard the phrase "winter is coming"? Of course, and it's true, but it seems as if Martin didn't really know what to do to fill the space between the first three books and the arrival of winter, which I suspect is the main reason why it feels like the plot is just spinning its wheels. I'm pretty sure I've read somewhere that he originally intended for there to be a slight gap between books that would move the story along, and a prologue that would more or less cover the important parts that happened, but after writing said prologue he realized there was too much to cover.
That's why I believe the last two books were rather bloated and bland; because he was essentially just putting all the pieces in place for the arrival of winter, which is no longer coming, but is already here as of the end of the last books. So, now that the board is set and all the pieces in place I hope the plot can move forward at a reasonable pace now.

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