Books --> Movies, Writers on Writing

Take your time, George R. R.

English: George R.R. Martin signing books in a...
English: George R.R. Martin signing books in a bookstore in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Slovenščina: George R.R. Martin med podpisovanjem knjig v ljubljanski knjigarni. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This just in: George R. R. Martin has missed his last television deadline for finishing the final book in the Game of Thrones series. (Read about it here.)

GASP!

Raise your hand if you are angry with Martin for failing to meet a television deadline.

Looks around.

No one?

Notices a lone hand in the back.

You’re not a writer, are you? No? Put your hand down.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the Game of Thrones television series. In fact, I made the mistake of watching the T.V. show before reading the books, and now I can’t get into the books (I’m weird like that.) So yeah, I haven’t read more than a couple of chapters of Martin’s series. But I still can’t get upset with him for failing to meet his television deadlines.

As a writer, I know that a book takes its own time to be written. If you try to force it, you end up with a final book that reads like the 3rd book in The Hunger Games trilogy.

A book takes its own time meme
A book takes its own time to be written. If you try to force it, you end up with a final book that reads like the 3rd book in The Hunger Games trilogy.

Before I go any farther, let me just assure you that I am NOT trashing The Hunger Games. In fact, I loved The Hunger Games. The first book was amazing. I became so engrossed in the characters in that first book, my first reaction to learning that Katniss would be returning to the games in Catching Fire was, “I can’t do this again.”

I almost didn’t read book two because the idea of living through the Hunger Games experience with these characters for a second time was almost too much for me. But I read it anyway because book one was so, so good.

And then there was Mockingjay.

My impression of this third book was that the author was either being pressured by an editor to meet a deadline or she was just sick of writing the series and wanted to get to the end of it already. The whole thing was forced. I got the feeling that the story was not allowed to develop in its own time. I honestly wish I’d stopped reading after book one.

Which brings me back to Game of Thrones. George R. R. Martin has been working on this latest novel for quite some time. So what? So he wants to get it right. Good for him!

Will readers be disappointed? If they watch the series, probably yes. There will be some spoilers.

Will we be angry with Martin for failing to meet the deadline that would allow the book to be published before the series airs? I hope not. After all, chances are the books will be around long after the television series has been forgotten. The books need to be given the time they need to develop naturally. Let’s give them – and him – the time they need to get it right.

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5 thoughts on “Take your time, George R. R.”

  1. Thanks for linking to my post! 🙂

    I just saw Mockingjay Part 2 Friday night with my husband, so this post actually feels very timely for me. I read the entire series prior to watching the movie version of Catching Fire, and I read all three books in a weekend. They sucked me in and didn’t let go, and it was something I was able to share with my kids, who’d also read the books. We saw Catching Fire together, and we saw Mockingjay Part 1 together, and it was so much fun.

    But for some reason, I just couldn’t get into the final movie. I couldn’t explain why the other night, but I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. It felt forced. I didn’t have that feeling when reading the books, but the movie…*sigh* My husband asked what I thought of the movie and all I could really say was that they changed some things. It was okay. It was not, however, the breathless race to the Capital that the book had been. It felt like it was lacking.

    Anyway, I’m glad I’m not the only person to have been a bit disappointed. But here’s to many more great books (and movies!) in the new year! 🙂

    1. I saw the first two movies, but I haven’t been able to talk myself into seeing either of the Mockingjay movies yet. I can’t imagine how they could possibly drag that one book out into two full movies. I feel like they’re just milking us at this point!

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

      1. You’re welcome! 🙂

        I think they could have easily gotten two movies out of Mockingjay if they’d stuck a little closer to the book, but the second movie in particular felt like they just skipped over a whole bunch of the action. And you’re probably right about us being milked – not every book/movie series needs a two-part finale. They’re not all Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (though they probably could have squeezed a third installment out of that one). 🙂

  2. Excellent points! I’ve been debating with myself about whether or not to watch the TV series before reading the novels. I’ve not read any of Martin’s work and “Game of Thrones” will be my first experience of him. Fantasy is also not really high on my reading list faves. So, I’m torn. As a result, I couldn’t care less that Martin missed his deadline. LOL!

    Makes me wonder, though, if he’s having a hard time facing the end. It can be difficult to live with characters in a world one has built from scratch for a long time and then realize that the end looms. I wish him all the best.
    Cinda

  3. Great point about Mockingjay. The last movie had that rare quality where you love all the others but you don’t like this one and not just because you’re sorry the story is ending.

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