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BryndenBFish

The Ultimate Winds of Winter Resource

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1 hour ago, Cas Stark said:

It is not obvious, as we don't know if he is "writing" at all, or sporadically or a lot.

You didn't know that in 2003 either, to be blunt. You don't know anything, except the obvious: that he isn't done.

We've been through similar discussions about all the rest before. GRRM was involved in as many, if not more, side projects when writing previous books, even though those books took far less time to complete, so putting the delay down to 'distractions' isn't a strong argument. Nor is speculation about his motivation level, etc. And to state that he has serious problems with the book is, well, utterly banal. Of course he does - he hasn't finished it! The question is, what are those problems? And the answer is, none of us here are in any position to know, but it's very unlikely that these problems are susceptible to an easy, quick solution, or they'd have already have been solved by the many people whose job it is to solve them. 

All of this is psychologically completely understandable. We all want to understand why the book is taking so long, and we all want to believe there is a simple, straightforward reason.

There isn't.

The hardest thing for us as fans to face up to is, this isn't a problem with an easy answer. We just have to accept the one fact that nobody disagrees on:

He isn't done. 

All the rest is just various ways of us coming to terms with that. 

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4 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

I said around and about the beginning of the previous Season of the Show that he would be holding back publishing Winds until the Show was done. That way the anticipation for the book would build all the more, as Show fans would be desperate for any new material about the main series. Thus expanding sales well beyond traditional book readers.

I don't think that makes sense. After the TV show concludes, I think many of the casual fans will accept that resolution of the tale. Interest among the general population in the books is liable to decline after the series ends. 

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4 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

I don't think that makes sense. After the TV show concludes, I think many of the casual fans will accept that resolution of the tale. Interest among the general population in the books is liable to decline after the series ends. 

I agree.  I think that interest in the books would be highest if it came out a week or so before the final season started. 

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1 hour ago, mormont said:

You didn't know that in 2003 either, to be blunt. You don't know anything, except the obvious: that he isn't done.

We've been through similar discussions about all the rest before. GRRM was involved in as many, if not more, side projects when writing previous books, even though those books took far less time to complete, so putting the delay down to 'distractions' isn't a strong argument. Nor is speculation about his motivation level, etc. And to state that he has serious problems with the book is, well, utterly banal. Of course he does - he hasn't finished it! The question is, what are those problems? And the answer is, none of us here are in any position to know, but it's very unlikely that these problems are susceptible to an easy, quick solution, or they'd have already have been solved by the many people whose job it is to solve them. 

All of this is psychologically completely understandable. We all want to understand why the book is taking so long, and we all want to believe there is a simple, straightforward reason.

There isn't.

The hardest thing for us as fans to face up to is, this isn't a problem with an easy answer. We just have to accept the one fact that nobody disagrees on:

He isn't done. 

All the rest is just various ways of us coming to terms with that. 

It's also an undeniable fact that while TWOW has languished, he's published serveral books and edited others for publication. So it's entirely reasonable to question his allocation of time, regardless of why TWOW is taking so long. 

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5 hours ago, Werthead said:

But were written over nine. AGoT, AFFC, ADWD and TWoW have taken a minimum of 5 years apiece to write and/or publish, so this is clearly the time it takes George to write a ASoIaF novel. ACoK and ASoS were sadly the outliers, and he had to do certain things to write them in that time (in the case of ASoS this included writing on Christmas Day and barely taking a day off for two years, which neither he nor his wife were happy about) which will not happen again. Also, he was 20 years younger.

It's amazing how you can twist facts to fit your beliefs. If only two were close together this theory might have some credence. Having leftover stuff means that he wrote even more than what was necessary for the books and explains why ASOS could follow ACOK a mere 20 months after. But the didn't write those leftovers for the third book before AGOT for sure.
Also the claim is that he was at 200 pages sometime in 1994 and AGOT came out in 1996.

It seems that his writing pace got seriously messed up after.

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Even if you credit that GOT-SOS was nine years in total, that is still three years per book.  Unless you are somehow adding 9 years onto the 1996-2000, to get to to 13 or 14 years--which I don't agree on that, but even that timeline of 14 years for 3 books is less than 5 years per book.  So by any maths that I can understand, things have been devolving since Feast came out and have devolved more alarmingly on Winds of Winter.

 

Yes. He's been getting older, there's significant timeline issues and his growing financial independence has given greater latitude to indulge his perfectionist (or over-perfectionist) streak. There is nothing particularly new to this.

In fact, AFFC was written pretty damn fast. He wrote, from scratch (aside from Mercy and a few other post-gap chapters he recycled), the 1,090-odd MS pages of AFFC-as-published and 500 pages of ADWD in about 3.5 years (since he nuked the original post-gap Book 4 and started again from a near blank page in September 2001). So the real problems I think kicked in during ADWD and TWoW, and I think those problems hearken back to decisions made whilst writing ASoS and AFFC (i.e. he can't fix them now). The primary issue is that because of George's reluctant to outline, he has not confronted these problems head-on and come up with a plan to deal with them in a methodical manner because this clashes with his freeform approach to writing, hence the much greater number of blind alleys he goes up and down and the sheer volume of material he writes and then discards.

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It's also an undeniable fact that while TWOW has languished, he's published serveral books and edited others for publication. So it's entirely reasonable to question his allocation of time, regardless of why TWOW is taking so long.

 

It's also an undeniable fact that, since he started writing ASoIaF in 1991, he has written exactly four pieces of fiction (all short stories) unrelated to ASoIaF, the last of which was published almost a decade ago. He has also not written any fiction which isn't part of the ASoIaF main series since 2012 (bar possibly some edits on Fire & Blood, which sound like they amount to a few thousand words max), six years ago. He also stopped writing scripts (which took a couple of weeks each, once a year) for the GoT TV series four years ago.

When people complain, "He's writing other stuff!" it's hard to take them seriously because he isn't.

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At this point, I almost wonder if GRRM decided that the five-year gap was the better idea after all, and is about to declare AFfC and ADwD non-canon and start over again from the end of ASoS. Or at least if he has seriously contemplated it. In any case, with him reportedly making many big changes to every book throughout the process, there must be lots of fairly coherent and well-written stuff left on the cutting room floor. I'd love to see all that one day.

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2 hours ago, Werthead said:

 

It's also an undeniable fact that, since he started writing ASoIaF in 1991, he has written exactly four pieces of fiction (all short stories) unrelated to ASoIaF, the last of which was published almost a decade ago. He has also not written any fiction which isn't part of the ASoIaF main series since 2012 (bar possibly some edits on Fire & Blood, which sound like they amount to a few thousand words max), six years ago. He also stopped writing scripts (which took a couple of weeks each, once a year) for the GoT TV series four years ago.

When people complain, "He's writing other stuff!" it's hard to take them seriously because he isn't.

He is writing and editing other stuff, and to take a page out of your book, none of us really knows how much time it's taken him to write them, so none of us can conclusively say that it hasn't impacted his time spent writing TWOW.

And just found this post from you in another thread.

"I think we are mostly on the same page there. The central point being that George wrote 300,000 words for the world book and most of that material is now Fire & Blood, which is c. 275,000 words (since GRRM's writing formatting is uniform for all his books and AGoT was 1,088 manuscript pages = 298,000 words), so 25,000-odd words (presumably those verbatim passages from WoIaF and a few other sections unrelated to the Targs) is not included."

So by your admission he's written text that doubles the text in the first book. And I don't buy the "they are all before 2012". We don't know how much he's worked on the F&B book in the last few years, for all we know he might have spent significant amount of time last year and this year writing and rewriting stuff for that book. 

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2 hours ago, Werthead said:

So the real problems I think kicked in during ADWD and TWoW, and I think those problems hearken back to decisions made whilst writing ASoS and AFFC (i.e. he can't fix them now).

What would you say those problems are, narratively speaking? Meereenese Knot gets mentioned a lot, but I can't imagine that it's the only thing giving George serious headaches.

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I think the problem is this:  He has around 500,000 words of story (a guess, based on characters' likely chapter counts), and only 425,000 words of space to put it in (the length of ASOS and ADWD, which we're told is the maximum).  Meaning he is having to decided what to prune, and what to entirely eliminate.  That can't be too easy.  Also, given the microscopic examination of the books by people like us:D, and he has to be a lot more careful about small details than he was.

AFFC and ADWD have 119 chapters and took 128 months to get published.  That is around 1.1 chapters per month.  If you assume around 80-85 chapters, that puts it at about 7 1/2 years, which is right around the beginning of next year.   He is a little behind, but not ridiculously so.  Of course, those books both had structural difficulties...  Then again, as I said, this one is probably too big for its space, leading to ... structural difficulties..

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45 minutes ago, Nevets said:

I think the problem is this:  He has around 500,000 words of story (a guess, based on characters' likely chapter counts), and only 425,000 words of space to put it in (the length of ASOS and ADWD, which we're told is the maximum).  Meaning he is having to decided what to prune, and what to entirely eliminate.  That can't be too easy.  Also, given the microscopic examination of the books by people like us:D, and he has to be a lot more careful about small details than he was.

AFFC and ADWD have 119 chapters and took 128 months to get published.  That is around 1.1 chapters per month.  If you assume around 80-85 chapters, that puts it at about 7 1/2 years, which is right around the beginning of next year.   He is a little behind, but not ridiculously so.  Of course, those books both had structural difficulties...  Then again, as I said, this one is probably too big for its space, leading to ... structural difficulties..

You must be a glass half full person.  

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25 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

You must be a glass half full person.  

And why not? I mean, think of the alrernative! :D

 

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4 hours ago, Cas Stark said:

You must be a glass half full person.  

Pretty much, and as @kissdbyfire said, it is better than the alternative.  I will say that I am getting worried though.  His write as you go style is a problem when you have issues such as too much story and not enough room.  He has to make tough decisions about what to jettison, and I don't know if he has the discipline to do that.  We shall see.

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On 26/04/2018 at 1:19 AM, Cas Stark said:

Did anyone think Winds was really coming out this year?  Anyone? 

In every year since 2015 I've thought "this is the year" and then had my hopes crushed by a blog post. It's my yearly ritual.

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17 hours ago, The Scabbard Of the Morning said:

It's also an undeniable fact that while TWOW has languished, he's published serveral books and edited others for publication. 

Again, nothing new there. That's been his MO throughout the writing of the entire series: in fact, he has done less of this than he did when the books were being released at a faster pace. The idea that the delay is about poor time allocation or not making writing ASoIaF a priority is just not a credible explanation. The problem clearly goes far deeper than that. 

(It is, though, a very easy way to allocate blame, which as noted I understand makes some people feel better.)

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Can one lose your writing ability over time? I'm not asking whether ALL authors lose their writing ability as they age, lest people bombard me with the well known examples of 90 year old writers who were still writing.

I'm asking whether it is something that happens to some? Just like your ability to do math, or to memorize facts or perform analytical tasks can diminish as you age.

Could he have woken up one day and suddenly couldn't figure out how to make this intricate story work anymore?

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50 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Can one lose your writing ability over time? I'm not asking whether ALL authors lose their writing ability as they age, lest people bombard me with the well known examples of 90 year old writers who were still writing.

I'm asking whether it is something that happens to some? Just like your ability to do math, or to memorize facts or perform analytical tasks can diminish as you age.

Could he have woken up one day and suddenly couldn't figure out how to make this intricate story work anymore?

100%. I'm not saying it's surely the case with him, but absolutely it could happen. And with a story as detailed and intricate as ASOIAF, it's very plausible. Personally, I feel he wrote himself into some very tough corners with ADWD, and he got stuck and is bored with the material.

Writing about Targ incest history was a nice reprieve for him and was more fun. Editing Wild Cards is more fun. Being a co-creator of a GoT spinoff show is more fun. Trying like hell how to get Dany back to Westeros that fits with the timeline of Jon and (F)Aegon and The Others and Euron? Not so much fun.

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1 hour ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Can one lose your writing ability over time?

Could he have woken up one day and suddenly couldn't figure out how to make this intricate story work anymore?

I don't think someone as obviously talented as George is going to lose his ability to write. He has spent his life writing; if anything, over time, he should become better at it.

Anyone who has ever attempted to write a novel knows how difficult it is to complete, even if it seems like the most basic of stories. ASOIAF is clearly not a basic story. If he has encountered problems such as the 'Meereneese Knot' already, which happened closer to the middle section of the series, then it certainly seems like he is going to encounter further, more complex plot issues as the story gets closer to the end.

He apparently has two books left to write, and as we await Winds, the penultimate book, it doesn't feel like we are anyway close to the end of the story. It should come as no surprise to anyone if George was simply taking his time because he was struggling to write the book and to fit everything together the way he wants to.

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