Words matter. These are the best George R. R. Martin Quotes, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.
I was a novelist first. But in the mid-’80s, I did work in television for ten years. And yes, that was frequently the reaction to my scripts. People would say, ‘You know, George, this is great. We love it, a terrific script, but it would cost five times our budget to shoot this.’
I spent a whole summer working on what proved to be ‘A Game of Thrones’.
There has to be a level of joy of what you’re doing.
Fiction is lies; we’re writing about people who never existed and events that never happened when we write fiction, whether its science fiction or fantasy or western mystery stories or so-called literary stories. All those things are essentially untrue. But it has to have a truth at the core of it.
I’ve been many kinds of writers in my career: novelist; tele-playwright; short story writer. As a high-school student, I wrote amateur pieces for fanzines, and I’ve written for Hollywood.
Writing is hard. I mean, I sit there and work at it.
I’ve always preferred writing about grey characters and human characters. Whether they are giants or elves or dwarves, or whatever they are, they’re still human, and the human heart is still in conflict with the self.
You want people to be eager for your book; the downside is when the people forget the series even exists.
I can see a scene in my head, and when I try to get it down in words on paper, the words are clunky; the scene is not coming across right. So frustrating. And there are days where it keeps flowing. Open the floodgates, and there it is. Pages and pages coming. Where the hell does this all come from? I don’t know.
Whenever I switch from one character to another, there’s always a few days where I really struggle because I’m changing voices and I’m changing ways of looking at the world. I’m not just flicking a switch; it’s harder process than that.
One of the great things about books is you can afford to do anything.
Unfortunately in television, for whatever reason, fantasy became thought of as a kids’ genre.
Don’t write outlines; I hate outlines.
I’ve said in many interviews that I like my fiction to be unpredictable. I like there to be considerable suspense.
I had a couple of friends, but I was mostly the kid with his nose in a book.
Boy, there are days where I get up and say ‘Where the hell did my talent go? Look at this crap that I’m producing here. This is terrible. Look, I wrote this yesterday. I hate this, I hate this.’
The success that the Tolkien books had redefined modern fantasy.
The prejudice is still there, but it’s breaking down. You have writers like Michael Chabon and The Yiddish Policemen’s Union. He’s a writer who’s determined to break down genre barriers. He’s done amazing things.
All fiction has to have a certain amount of truth in it to be powerful.
The odd thing about being a writer is you do tend to lose yourself in your books. Sometimes it seems like real life is flickering by and you’re hardly a part of it. You remember the events in your books better than you remember the events that actually took place when you were writing them.
I work for two years on a book and it comes out and two days later I’ve got my first e-mail: When is the next one coming out?
I suppose I’m a lapsed Catholic. You would consider me an atheist or agnostic.
Nobody is a villain in their own story. We’re all the heroes of our own stories.
I have files, I have computer files and, you know, files on paper. But most of it is really in my head. So God help me if anything ever happens to my head!
I love fantasy. I grew up reading fantasy.
I knew that, when writing a book, you’re not constrained by a budget. You’re not constrained by what you can do, in terms of the special effects technology. You’re not limited to any particular running time.
I prefer to work with grey characters rather than black and white.
I’ve never been good with deadlines. My early novels, I wrote by myself. No one knew I was writing a novel; I didn’t have a contract.
I’ve written some standalone novels, but a book series allows fans in. There’s much more intense involvement.
‘Dreamsongs’ allows me to show the scope of my writing – with personal commentary that puts the works in context and includes some autobiographical details intended to reveal how each piece came to be, what it represents, and how it has formed, or been informed by, my philosophy of writing.
I’ve never been a fast writer.
I try to make the readers feel they’ve lived the events of the book. Just as you grieve if a friend is killed, you should grieve if a fictional character is killed. You should care. If somebody dies and you just go get more popcorn, it’s a superficial experience isn’t it?
In my 10 years that I spent out in TV and film, I had my shares of frustrations and annoyances and disappointments, but also I think it was, in the long run, it was very good for me in a whole bunch of ways.
An awful lot of fantasy, and even some great fantasy, falls into the mistake of assuming that a good man will be a good king, that all that is necessary is to be a decent human being and when you’re king everything will go swimmingly.
I have done a lot of work in Hollywood myself. I worked in television for roughly 10 years, from the mid-’80s to mid-’90s. And I was on staff at a couple of shows. I did some feature films, including originals and adaptations.
The cable makers are the ones who are willing to take risks and do something original and push the envelope some.
It’s really irritating when you open a book, and 10 pages into it you know that the hero you met on page one or two is gonna come through unscathed, because he’s the hero. This is completely unreal, and I don’t like it.
I know some writers can write on the road, but I’m not one of them.
One of the things I love, and I’m a voracious reader as well as a writer, is books that surprise me, that are not predictable.
I’m a huge fan of Tolkien. I read those books when I was in junior high school and high school, and they had a profound effect on me. I’d read other fantasy before, but none of them that I loved like Tolkien.
‘Rome’ was one of my favourite shows, and I wish HBO had given it three more seasons ’cause I would have loved to continue watching it.
I have some other novels I want to write. I have a lot of short stories – I love the short story.
I have idea files of books that I want to write one of these days, stories I want to write one of these days, but I’ll probably never get to them.
Over the years, more than one reviewer has described my fantasy series, ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’, as historical fiction about history that never happened, flavoured with a dash of sorcery and spiced with dragons. I take that as a compliment.