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What do you think caused Martin to loose his grip on the material?

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19 minutes ago, Trefayne said:

My take on the time lag is a hopeful one.

It's been seven years since Dance was released. He indicated that he had chapters written for Winds at that time. Right around there GoT got rolling along and huge, plus other and newer commitments came along. Between his basking in success and distractions, I'd estimate a good three or so years was lost with no work at all on Winds.

Now here's my conjecture part:

I think that when it became apparent that the show was going to pass the books and that there was no way to forestall this eventuality, GRRM decided just to finish the whole thing at once and not tell anyone. There is a good chance that all the material for Winds is done, but not edited and polished because he is still writing the middle to last parts of ADoS and doesn't want to publish in case he wants to change things from the end of the story back to the start of Winds once he has completed the books.

I really hope this is the case because I can't think of anything else that would excuse such a long gap between books.

IIRC, this has basically been debunked by GRRM (although it's possible he was lying).  An article was written a year or 2 ago basically theorizing that he has both TWOW and ADOS done and is waiting to release them at the same time.  GRRM responded by calling it completely absurd (paraphrasing).  

13 hours ago, D-Shiznit said:

Even if you cut out all the secondary stuff,  there is still so much story left to occur in just two books. Dany has to get her army, fix Mereen, get to Westeros, meet Jon, who has to come back to life, conquer the North, go to Dany, establish a partnership, fall in love and then fight two wars together. And all that is just 2 characters, the Starks still have to finish their journeys and reunite, Cerise has to consolidate power, White Walkers have to be delved into. It's just too much for 2 books.

Yeah, this has been pretty much my issue as well.  There are now 20+ surviving POVs, it's not gonna be so easy just to cut out these characters.  That's like 1 chapter per superfluous character outside the top 5 POVS and you're already looking at a large portion of a book.  

20 hours ago, Jabar of House Titan said:

Daenerys' first two (or three) chapters and her last two chapters (her very last chapter in Dance is a masterclass) were excellent but the show did a better job of communicating Daenerys' story in Dance than the books and Show!Daenerys' storyline in season 5 was pretty sloppy. Not bad just sloppy.

I pretty much agree with this...Dany's chapters were a real chore for me in ADWD once she got settled down in Meereen.  I basically got like Quentyn's companions at a certain point and was calling everyone Harzoo in my mind, and was clenching my teeth like Stannis during Dany/Daario stuff.  I think her chapters are comparable to Jon's in terms of theme, but I just care so much more about what is happening at the Wall than Dany's fruitless and futile quest to change Slaver's Bay.

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Tyrion? Tyrion is the worst part about Dance. Actually, Dance has made me develop a strong dislike for Tyrion. Not only the actual material (Tyrion is becoming a villain, people, wake up!) but the structure of everything. The show also did a better job of trimming the fat but again ... they did it so sloppily that they missed out on some great opportunities with Tyrion in season 5.

I disagree on this as I just really enjoyed Tyrion/Illyrio/Jon Con/Griff- but Tyrion/Jorah/Penny was brutal to get through for me.  I liked the ending a lot though with the Second Sons, but part of me just wishes GRRM kept Tyrion with Faegon (could've cut out Jon Con POVS as well).

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The thing that would've made the Brienne chapters better is if she had more evidence or clues to go off of and/or if she had gotten close to finding Arya. Because finding Sansa was a damn near impossible feat at that point and EVERYONE knew it.

What also hurt Brienne is the fact that the chapters - while well-written - are:

  • absolutely depressing, especially because they are juxtaposed against Cersei's mismanagement of the country
  • and redundant because we had already wandered around the Riverlands with Arya and because Jaime is also spending a lot of time in Riverlands
  • meandering because we all know that the search for Sansa is a fruitless dead-end, the search for Arya is both expensive and difficult and Brienne does nothing but walk around in circles, be depressed and watch other people be depressed

Even if the characters HAD to be depressing, it would've been a lot better if Brienne was wandering around the Vale, the Westerlands or the Stormlands. We had already seen sooooo much of the Riverlands.

 

I think @Trefayne hit the nail on its head with Brienne's chapters- we know her quest is futile and we know her leads are incorrect...that takes a lot of the drama out of it.  Additionally, Brienne basically interacts with all-new characters throughout her POV, people like Nimble Dick, Hyle Hunt, Meribald, Creighton Longbough, the Mad Mouse, etc...maybe would have worked better if she interacted with some more prominent characters like the Hound for example.  

Hell, it would've been a stroke of genius if Brienne became a Robin Hood or a Batman character.

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19 minutes ago, Tagganaro said:

Additionally, Brienne basically interacts with all-new characters throughout her POV, people like Nimble Dick, Hyle Hunt, Meribald, Creighton Longbough, the Mad Mouse, etc...

Yes, her chapters read like a Dunk 'n Egg story, which makes them enjoyable, just not productive.

As far as my conjecture, yeah I saw that article and wouldn't expect him to break silence on that. I also don't think that they would publish both at once. They'd wait at least three years to release ADoS after TWoW is released. I just think GRRM won't publish Winds until he is happy with his overall finale and doesn't want to consider any more changes.

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9 minutes ago, Trefayne said:

Yes, her chapters read like a Dunk 'n Egg story, which makes them enjoyable, just not productive.

Isn't enjoyable the whole point?  If we wanted productive we have the show for that.

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1 minute ago, mushroomshirt said:

Isn't enjoyable the whole point?  If we wanted productive we have the show for that.

 

For a short story or novella/novelette, sure. In a larger epic things need to keep rolling along at a reasonable pace or you get pages of forum threads complaining about it. :D

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On 7/21/2018 at 6:09 PM, D-Shiznit said:

Even if by some miracle TWOW comes out in the next year or two, there is no way he can finish the series in 7 books. There is simply too much story to cover with only 2 books. Dany still has to come to Westeros, Jon has to take over the North, the Faegon storyline has to wrap up, Dany and Jon have to meet, form an alliance, fall in love, battle against the White Walkers, battle for the throne against Cersei. Not to mention the other zillion storyline and characters. No way all that gets wrapped in 2 books. I'm fully expecting an announcement by GRRM within the year that he is unable to finish the series and will pass it on to someone else, or is just letting the show finish his story.

This is exactly the same reason I think GRRM has been stuck all this years with TWOW, GRRM didn't do the 5 year gap, but I believe that in order to finish TWOW and solve all the plots, ATLEAST until Danny meets Jon or until she arrives Westeros, it has to pass around 3 years in the Books. This is why I believe he should have split TWOW in two or three books, we all know it sucks,  but every book he publish, every page he finish GRRM gets closer to the objective to finish the series.

I think GRRM will give us TWOW in a couple of years, I give it 2 years at max

ADOS maybe it will be finished but with collaborators, and once GRRM solves all the plots you stated ( most of it with TWOW ) and we get the meet between Dany and Jon, it will be an easier and quick book to write and finish the series once for all.

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On 7/22/2018 at 4:49 PM, Trefayne said:

 

For a short story or novella/novelette, sure. In a larger epic things need to keep rolling along at a reasonable pace or you get pages of forum threads complaining about it. :D

Lol you make a good point.  I have always thought the books are too short though.  I want at least twice as much of everything including Brienne (well, maybe not Cersei).  I guess I'm in the minority.

Reminds me of this Tolkien quote:

The most critical reader of all, myself, now finds many defects, minor and major, but being fortunately under no obligation either to review the book or to write it again, he will pass over these in silence, except one that has been noted by others: the book is too short.

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The books we love are always too short. I have to be careful when I read. If I'm too into the book I will literally do nothing else. I used to always take a literature class in college each semester just so I could justify reading while blowing off all of my other classes. At least one "A" was guaranteed! :read:

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While I understand the multiple trips through the Riverlands so we get a timeline of the war and it's effect on both commoners and nobles, that type of detail maybe should be in a series focused on the Riverlands or something. When you have SO much ground to cover, retreading familiar material, even from new perspectives and new characters is...(I don't know a good word to put there, but it would be slightly negative).

He's doing a world building Malazan style (from like covering the world), but this was supposed to be a trilogy. Was he delusional thinking this could ever be done in that time? It is quite clear reading Feast and Dance that they are meant to be read as one book in a varied chapter order, because there are soooo many parallels. Is he wanting to continue that but can't figure it out?

In any case, he is a bit of a perfectionist, and that is necessarily arduous. That is the difficulty for us that makes me so ambivalent.

Storm was so tight. I know he abandoned a 5 year gap, but the pacing slowed so much. I feel like when Martin lost it, was losing the gap, and instead of abandoning the space that would have taken, he is filling it in with narration we didn't previously get.

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I don't think he has lost control of his material exactly: he's written the story in a very modular style, so he can close down areas just as quickly as he opened them up. My feeling is that most locations will lose the focus, which is as easy as removing the POV, with or without a natural disaster to tidy up all the loose ends.

What he probably has lost control of is all the literary games and rules he's made for himself. This forum alone has suggested an enormous number of possibilities: true prophecy; multi-layered prophecy; events that foreshadow future events; characters that shadow other characters; events that cycle; events that invert; food codes; colour codes; clothes codes; puns, anagrams, and word play....

If even half of these games were real and intentional, then there'd be an inhuman amount of work just staying consistent to the rules. Not to mention the exponential rise in continuity checking that would be necessary without any games at all.

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5 hours ago, Springwatch said:

I don't think he has lost control of his material exactly: he's written the story in a very modular style, so he can close down areas just as quickly as he opened them up. My feeling is that most locations will lose the focus, which is as easy as removing the POV, with or without a natural disaster to tidy up all the loose ends.

What he probably has lost control of is all the literary games and rules he's made for himself. This forum alone has suggested an enormous number of possibilities: true prophecy; multi-layered prophecy; events that foreshadow future events; characters that shadow other characters; events that cycle; events that invert; food codes; colour codes; clothes codes; puns, anagrams, and word play....

If even half of these games were real and intentional, then there'd be an inhuman amount of work just staying consistent to the rules. Not to mention the exponential rise in continuity checking that would be necessary without any games at all.

100% agree

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His gardening approach precludes any of that over thought, twisted planning some like to dabble in. I just think that they are seeing the author reusing themes because they are in his toolbox of useful plots and plans. This is not to say that some of the more prevalent ones (Maggy the Frog) aren't plotted and planned for real purpose, but some of the other, more obscure parallels people find I think are just circumstantial.

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On 7/20/2018 at 3:36 PM, Jabar of House Titan said:

Why do you think it started him on the road to ruin?

Just curious.

Because he could've easily done this:

  1. focused on the adult and/or the new POV characters in Feast (i.e. Brienne, Cersei, Samwell, etc.)
  2. have those stories take place for a year (i.e. Cersei rules as Queen Regent for a year, Brienne searches the Riverlands and the Crownlands for a year, it takes at least six months for Samwell to get from Castle Black to Oldtown because life happens, etc.)
    • Jon, Dany and maybe Arya could possibly be cameos, seen through the eyes of Melisandre, Davos, Quentyn or Samwell
    • Sansa and Theon could maybe be hiding in plain sight as Robert Arryn's babysitter Alayne Stone and the Bolton manservant Reek, their true identities remaining a mystery until the final third of Feast
  3. and then in Dance, he can pick up exactly where he left off with the adults and the newbies and still get the time jump for the Stark kids, Theon, Dany, Jon and maybe even Tyrion that he coveted so much.

Well, on having another re-read of the series, to me the issue starts after ASOS becuase from then on instead of wrapping things up, everything expands and expands some more, especially in ADWD.  

This being said I have little issue with new POV characters that are sufficiently known to the reader (like the ones you quote:  Cersei, Sam, Brienne), we know their circumstances and frames of mind, so I don't see that as and issue.  Furthermore I take that some new plots like maybe say Aegon or FAegon and Euron may matter sufficiently when all is said and done for them to be included and yes, they both need support characters so okay, the Jon Con team, especially since Tyrion is POV and he had to be with someone since his escape...) And yet what we get is more and more and moree  Iron Borns,!  The inclusion of some but sweet and short could have been okay but , unless he has something of real impact in mind for Victarion, why give him so much page space when a lot of us wanted to see more of the ones we are familiar with like Jon, Arya, Tyrion...  I would certainly not have made him a point of view.   Also Victarion and Aeron horrible experiences with Euron may have been mentioned or insinuated, say in Asha's POV,  but no we don't just get one of them as point of view but the two!!!  This seems to be rather unbalanced considering that say, the Lannisters, who were there from the beginning and a huge family in terms of the plot get 3 POV in total and Cersei rather later on in the series.  They have, let me count:  5!  Riverrun for instance only has Cat... So are we to expect the Ironborns to be so needed (full family necessary as POV)???  Okay the Starks, counting Jon have 6 but they almost start as narrators in the first book and central family in a narrative way, and some are missed as POV like Robb.  So why this overcrowding of Ironborn POVs???

Now, we get to Dorne, lol!  People complain about the way it was dealt with in the show but hey, at least we only have familiar characters there!  In the books I just can't keep tracks!  Unless some revelation proves me wrong, I cannot fathom what the whole point of Quentin was.  Yes, poor little son who was underappreciated by daddy and wanted to prove himself.  Tyrion and are Samwell, even Theon to an extent, are much more charismatic and memorable guys who fulfil that role, why the need to create a very "unmemorable version?"  Some characters (most of the main ones plus say LF or Varys may be despised by readers or even loved or loathed depending on who you ask lol - Dany, Jon, Tyrion, Stannis??? because they tick a fibre one way or the other).  It could be just me but I doubt I am alone here; being frank, how many shaded a tear after Quentin's death? how many truly were intent on seeing him succeed in his quest?  who couldn't wait for him to get his comeuppance (for something or other) and prayed for him to die????  I may be wrong here but if I am kind of right this means, the readership hasn't connected with this character.  He is neither hero nor villain or anything in between worth of our attention (IMO).  What's more, he advances the plot practically not at all (barring some huge revelation yet to come).  We all knew stealing dragons wasn't easy!  Even if his entire role is to set Dorne against Dany, why him; okay they could not have gone there hoping for a bride but some other reason surely can be figured out, why not Arianne or one of the Sand Snakes?

Now Arianne and the Sand Snakes, I keep faith that they are going to play some role involving Myrcella, so they are probably "justified" lol so I would give that sub-plot the benefit of the doubt in terms of possible future relevance.  Same, I think, goes for some sub-plots in the North around Winterfell, Manderley/Rickon etc and those should be "wrappable."  In fact I think most of it seems "wrappable" without having to spend tons of pages on, trouble is I think he got attached to subplots that came to his head (easy enough thing to do) and now the plot is bigger...  Just my two cents.

Edited by Morgana Lannister

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 One thing that has always bothered me as an English degree holder is that the gardening approach, as Martin calls it,  is a perfectly valid approach. We can be frustrated, we can be impatient, and we can grumble. However, that just doesn’t change the fact that it is a perfectly acceptable plotting device or approach to writing. That said, there have been some issues or delays that have many people frustrated.  We can blame the show, side projects, or his age. But the truth remains no matter who the author is sometimes writing goes well and sometimes it doesn’t. I know that answer is going to piss a lot of people off but it’s the simple truth. This isn’t  to say that we can’t discuss the work and the text or even that we can’t complain! But we shouldn’t attack George R Martin just because his process is different than other author’s processes.

Edited by Lady Rhodes

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I think it was because of competing series that undercut his tale

 

I am certain that GRRM started out to tell the tale of Ragnarok but derailed when others stole(used) his plot line.

 

He has failed to really either change it or get on with the job.

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On 7/28/2018 at 5:44 PM, Lady Rhodes said:

 One thing that has always bothered me as an English degree holder is that the gardening approach, as Martin calls it,  is a perfectly valid approach. We can be frustrated, we can be impatient, and we can grumble. However, that just doesn’t change the fact that it is a perfectly acceptable plotting device or approach to writing. That said, there have been some issues or delays that have many people frustrated.  We can blame the show, side projects, or his age. But the truth remains no matter who the author is sometimes writing goes well and sometimes it doesn’t. I know that answer is going to piss a lot of people off but it’s the simple truth. This isn’t  to say that we can’t discuss the work and the text or even that we can’t complain! But we shouldn’t attack George R Martin just because his process is different than other author’s processes.

It will have been eight years if the next book comes out in July of 2019, and that seems an optimistic prediction at this point.  That amount of time is not the author's process but indication that something has gone off the rails.  Nearly a decade is plenty of time to finish a book that includes literally years of the writing going poorly. IMO.

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1 hour ago, Cas Stark said:

It will have been eight years if the next book comes out in July of 2019, and that seems an optimistic prediction at this point.  That amount of time is not the author's process but indication that something has gone off the rails.  Nearly a decade is plenty of time to finish a book that includes literally years of the writing going poorly. IMO.

But it is important to keep in mind that we have gotten World of Ice and Fire and will be getting Fire and Blood during that time as well.  If there is anything to be perturbed about, I would say I wish he would have just finished the series and then worked on these side pieces. 

I am not saying that he hasn’t run into issues. But people are attacking a perfectly valid approach and Martin for using it. The same approach got us a story we are all enthralled in, and I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. 

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8 minutes ago, Lady Rhodes said:

But it is important to keep in mind that we have gotten World of Ice and Fire and will be getting Fire and Blood during that time as well.  If there is anything to be perturbed about, I would say I wish he would have just finished the series and then worked on these side pieces. 

I am not saying that he hasn’t run into issues. But people are attacking a perfectly valid approach and Martin for using it. The same approach got us a story we are all enthralled in, and I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. 

It was valid in the 1990s, but seems to have failed the author since Storm of Swords.  Sometimes, when x approach doesn't work, it's time to try Y.  I understand that GRRM has been highly successful with his alleged gardening method, but the hard truth is that this method has now created a situation where his story is being finished in another medium by other people and the odds that he finishes his own story are very, very long, approaching impossible.  Sure, Winds could be a diamond hard jewel of tight plotting, that deftly ties up secondary stories and moves the narrative forward enough that the series can be completed in a 7th book.  Other than blind hope though, there is no reason to expect Winds to be a diamond of clarity and plot.  The preview chapters are reminiscent of Dance, long, meandering, overly detailed....which if Winds follows this format, whenever it comes out, we will be 2 books short of the end, not 1.  That would mean, Martin needs another 15 or 20 years to finish.

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1 hour ago, Cas Stark said:

It was valid in the 1990s, but seems to have failed the author since Storm of Swords.  Sometimes, when x approach doesn't work, it's time to try Y.  I understand that GRRM has been highly successful with his alleged gardening method, but the hard truth is that this method has now created a situation where his story is being finished in another medium by other people and the odds that he finishes his own story are very, very long, approaching impossible.  Sure, Winds could be a diamond hard jewel of tight plotting, that deftly ties up secondary stories and moves the narrative forward enough that the series can be completed in a 7th book.  Other than blind hope though, there is no reason to expect Winds to be a diamond of clarity and plot.  The preview chapters are reminiscent of Dance, long, meandering, overly detailed....which if Winds follows this format, whenever it comes out, we will be 2 books short of the end, not 1.  That would mean, Martin needs another 15 or 20 years to finish.

Here is what I believe/hope, Winds is nearly done. Why I think so? When he was warping up Dance, he was posting something to the effect of "another chapter is done" or "I'm trying something new that might work" or "I'm shoveling snow" indicating that he's seeing the end and he's racing to reach it. But for Winds he said we won't get progress posts like those, instead we got other indications that he's nearly done: a) more than once this year he has indicated that he's still working on Winds and those indications were within the posts not solicited in the comment section, b) he stated that his publishers want to splint Winds, which means there is enough material to be published with completed story arcs for some POVs, and c) in April, he stated that Winds is not coming in 2018, why state the book is not coming in 2018? why not give the same answer he always gives "the book is done when its done."? I might be reading the tea-leafs, but this suggests there is tentative plan for 2019.

As for ADOS, nope not 15 or 20 years. He has stated, more than once, he tends to speed up his writing when he sees the end, and according to him this haven't happened in ASOIAF, but it will happen with the last book. That's why the wait for the last book won't as long as this one. I think this is as bad as it's gonna be.

Edited by Quaithe from Asshai
grammar

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9 minutes ago, Quaithe from Asshai said:

Here is what I believe/hope, Winds is nearly done. Why I think so? When he was warping up Dance, he was posting something to the effect of "another chapter is done" or "I'm trying something new that might work" or "I'm shoveling snow" indicating that he's seeing the end and he's racing to reach it. But for Winds he said we won't get progress posts like those, instead we got other indications that he's nearly done: a) more than once this year he has indicated that he's still working on Winds and those indications were within the posts not solicited in the comment section, b) he stated that his publishers want to splint Winds, which means there is enough material to be published with completed story arcs for some POVs, and c) in April, he stated that Winds is not coming in 2018, why state the book is not coming in 2018? why not give the same answer he always gives "the book is done when its done."? I might be reading the tea-leafs, but this suggests there is tentative plan for 2019.

As for ADOS, nope not 15 or 20 years. He has stated, more than once, he tends to speed up his writing when sees the end, and according to him this haven't happened in ASOIAF, but it will happen with last book. That's why the wait for the last book won't as long as this one. I think this is as bad as it's gonna be.

Everyone said he would speed up after Dance, but he slowed down.  He said himself he would finish the series before the show wrapped and he's not even close. 

I don't think he's almost done either, if he was really almost done, why not finish and get it out while the show is still airing, which will increase interest and sales? Why work on anything else, if he's almost done?  So, I conclude he's not almost done or anything close to done.  I also consider the idea that his publishers want to split the book as ominous, it means anther Feast/Dance meandering overly long set of chapters.  

Me, I don't see any reason, either in his track record, his current slate of activities, the sample chapters or his statements to be optimistic.

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10 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

Everyone said he would speed up after Dance, but he slowed down.  He said himself he would finish the series before the show wrapped and he's not even close. 

I don't think he's almost done either, if he was really almost done, why not finish and get it out while the show is still airing, which will increase interest and sales? Why work on anything else, if he's almost done?  So, I conclude he's not almost done or anything close to done.  I also consider the idea that his publishers want to split the book as ominous, it means anther Feast/Dance meandering overly long set of chapters.  

Me, I don't see any reason, either in his track record, his current slate of activities, the sample chapters or his statements to be optimistic.

If there is anything to be optimistic about the splitting of the book, it would be him admitting he needs 3 more instead of 2 more, and the splitting of the POV's giving him a little more wiggle room on the timelines within certain POV's to make stuff line up properly.  In simpler terms, it could mean they have found a solution to the problems he is having.

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