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What has been the Meereenese’s blot in The Winds of Winter for the book taking so long?


Odej
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Which arc do you guys think has given Martin trouble finishing book six?

a) King’s Landing with the Faith, Lannisters, Tyrells, Sand Snakes.

b) Aegon's campaign hitting the arch above.

c) Dorne and its relationship to Aegon's campaign.

d) Essos: the war in Meereen. Dany and the Dothrakis.

e) The North and the Winterfell succession.

f) The Eyrie and a link between it and the Northern arc.

g) A real development of the Others after five books.

h) The Citadel.

i) Euron’s apocalypse

j) Creative block. There are too many plots and Martin doesn’t know how to deal with all of them.

k) Another reason.

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I think the closest is probably J (along with focusing on so many other non-WoW things), although I wouldn't describe it as a creative block which to me implies he would be struggling for inspiration. I think there are just so many moving parts that it is tricky to bring them altogether while maintaining the integrity of the story, the timeline, and most importantly, that the characters continue to act in character. And then if he gets an idea and wants to change something he has an awful lot of other things he needs to change as well.

I do really appreciate the effort he puts in, other writers, like the show writers, would just write some nonsense rather than try to solve a problem properly. But I would dearly love to know how and why years ago he thought the story would be completed in months. Twice.

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I tend to believe that most of the larger plotlines have been wrapped up. GRRM apparently was pretty happy overall with how Winds was progressing last summer. I think that was due to some larger issues with the story being resolved in a way he found satisfying. I think the most troublesome storyline now that GRRM may be having trouble with is the fAegon storyline. How does one tell the story of fAegon's rise and set the stage for his fall in the space of a single book, without having that become as involved and time consuming as the Meereenese Blot? It is a veritable black hole of potential time sucks. If any plotline is giving GRRM headaches, I think it's fAegon.

Edited by Nathan Stark
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I think it's a mix of J, all the rest, and the current climate. Shit's (pardon my French) wild now, and he could be afraid of the fans not liking it and ASOIAF being called a relic from another time, criticized by reviewers and critics (The true idiots will say we should understand that GRRM's work is a relic and disrespectful and creepy and all that...... but here's the thing: "We understand nothing of the sort.") 

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My personal theory is that GRRM wrote the first draft, didn’t like it, and decided to start over. It would explain why he thought he could finish in a few months in 2015 but still had “hundreds of pages left to write” at the beginning of this year.

I get the impression that the farther away he gets from King’s Landing, the harder the story is.

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1 hour ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

I think it's a mix of J, all the rest, and the current climate. Shit's (pardon my French) wild now, and he could be afraid of the fans not liking it and ASOIAF being called a relic from another time, criticized by reviewers and critics (The true idiots will say we should understand that GRRM's work is a relic and disrespectful and creepy and all that...... but here's the thing: "We understand nothing of the sort.") 

I think there is zero chance of fans not liking . And George R. R. Martin has always aspired to write what he likes, not what might be popular at the moment. I trust George to be true to the story and to himself, and I think most readers will appreciate that as well.

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There are probably going to be a lot of major character deaths in Winds of Winter.

He needs to set these deaths up to have the idisasterous mpact they deserve, ensure that they are most ubtimely by our reckining. But he needs to ensure they don't die before they have been to the places they need to visit, seen the people they need to see, sired the heirs they needed to sire, discovered the secrets they needed to discover, sent the messages they needed to send.

Otherwise, mysteries like Ned's promise to Lyanna and what happened at the Tower of Joy and (especially) why, are going to be 'resolved' the way the mystery of the dragonbone dagger was resolved- with a character who was out of the loop deducing it from whatever they could recall.

Or worse, whatever they were told/saw in a dream/learnt from a tree or a crow. Worst case of all: told by a raven who was skinchanged by a guy that was shown a dream by a tree. I would honestly rather L+R remained in its current state than have it 'resolved' by dreams and portents.

My guess is he has to time the killing of Tyrion, Dany, Jaime,Cersei, Brienne, Stannis, Sansa, Arya,Rickon and Bran so that Penny, JonCon, Illyrio, Jorah, Asha, Sam, Arianne,Nym, Hota and Barristan can know enough to carry the narritive load for A Dream of Spring.

Eta: Or maybe he has too many piad gigs with deadlines due to find time to finish Winds in 2022.

Edited by Walda
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I think it's mostly just the magic-heavy stuff that he'll be having trouble with. Winds will almost certainly be a far more magic-heavy book than any others in the series, and the supernatural is a realm where Martin hasn't focused thus far, and I think he's probably facing challenges with making it as interesting and nuanced as the political storylines. I'd almost be willing to bet money that he's specifically stuck with the Others, with not wanting to make them cartoonish villains that are uninteresting. 

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I personally think it is a mix of things.

Firstly, I agree with what @The Bard of Banefort is saying. With what he has said over the years, I believe George either finished or was close to finishing Winds at a certain point, but was not satisfied with the result. I think he was unsatisfied with the quality of the storytelling and did not like how the story flowed. I believe George does know how most main characters will end up by the end of Winds- what they must do, things they must see. But the execution of the way there may have lacked the quality he desired. Perhaps it felt too cheap or rushed in certain places. 

Pressure has a lot to do with it as well, I feel. The amount of fans he has now and the TV show (both it's rise in popularity and the downfall) contributes to the pressure and desire to release a good, polished story. There is a lot of pressure on him to release the real story of the series. This, in turn, could fuel his potential tendency to re-write and correct things and being constantly unsatisfied with the quality of his work.  Sometimes, writers and aspiring writers have periods where they hate everything they write and think it is all bad and worthless. Perhaps this is the case.

If there are some plotlines giving George a hard time, I would have to say it's the Others, mostly because they appear to be very one-dimensional villains (unless George adds something to them). The various smaller details and very small characters could be adding to the time it has taken to publish Winds as well.

These are just my two cents.

Edited by Raven Princling
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I think he's dissatisfied with what he's written and he can't leave it alone or trust it enough to forward to the publishers. The show's ending was horrible, but I suspect that there was a lot of his ending in there and that's creating problems for him.  Let's be honest, the guy's had time to write the book twice, maybe 3 times and furthermore he thought he could see the finish line 6 years ago so I don't think that word volume is the the problem. I think he discards more than he keeps and he's probably thrown out a good novel or two since October '15.

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