It’s Not Easy Being George R. R. Martin

George R R Martin photoBy Kristin Brann

First, let’s start with the criticism that he writes too slowly, which Jill Pantozzi addresses here. Of course, this is just one place where you will find this criticism, which rates a section on his Wikipedia page. In this Sword and Laser interview posted June 22, 2012, Veronica Belmont skirts around this criticism by acknowledging that there are no definitive time frames for Martin to finish A Game of Thrones/A Song of Fire and Ice. The interview also does not present any spoilers for the books. However, it is a really interesting interview where Martin talks about characters (including his character creation process), surprising fan responses, and the positive aspects of HBO’s A Game of Thrones.  At about sixteen minutes—the text below the video clip gives accurate placement for the Martin interview—this is really informative. His perspective on how the producers are handling the issue of adaptation and the implications of not being able to focus on other series’ are only a couple of the intelligent and well-reasoned thoughts which Martin brings to this interview.

I’m not suggesting that anyone else feel sorry for George R.R. Martin, but I do. He is trying to keep Game of Thrones from taking over his life and still not sacrificing quality. This example brings to light that success may not be without its challenges.  While some authors are criticized for putting out too many books too quickly and sacrificing quality to commercial concerns, George R. R. Martin demonstrates that taking time to craft your stories meticulously can also open an author up to criticism. Not only does this impact Martin, but the success of A Game of Thrones is leading an interest in other fantasy series for potential television adaptation. If more novel series are to be adapted into television series, we need to see this kind of integrity to prevent our favorites from being lost in translation. Other authors should take note on how to handle sticky questions about divergence from their stories by film or television producers in interviews. Game of Thrones proves that you can add to already great literature in adaptation and sometimes please everyone for at least a little while with your content, if not in all respects.

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