The next instalment in A Song Of Ice And Fire has been in the works for some time now; with its predecessor A Dance With Dragons coming out way back in 2011. After the novels spawned the Game of Thrones TV phenomenon, the show’s stories ended up overtaking the novels when Martin did not complete his works in time. But he’s not given up.
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George RR Martin has maintained that The Winds of Winter – the sixth of a planned seven books in the series – is on its way.
But in a recent chat with John Hodgman, he opened up on why it’s taking so long.
“In essences, there are, like, eight, nine, ten novels woven together,” he explained.
Indeed, the events of previous novels have left a huge number of open story threads for Martin to continue.
“Each of my main characters is on a different continent surrounded by a different supporting cast of people, and the timelines will have to be woven together to be consistent for the passage of time and also for dramatic purposes,” he added.
“It’s a complex task, and therefore it takes longer. But in the words of the immortal Super Chicken, I knew the job was dangerous when I took it!
“So there I am. And one page at a time.”
In the same interview, he had spoken about how intimidating the pressure to deliver a masterpiece is.
“I try not to look at the big picture, ever,” he said. “Then it becomes incredibly intimidating. I try to say, ‘I’m going to get up today and write a couple of pages’.
“One page at a time, one sentence at a time, one word at a time. If you think, ‘oh, I have thousands of pages to write, everyone’s going to be mad at me…’”
“At one point I was having a huge pressure on myself to keep ahead of the [TV] show, and I failed. “When I recognised that I had lost that battle… I don’t know.
“So now the show is going, and the show is going to wind up where it is, and meanwhile I’m going to finish The Winds of Winter and after that A Dream Of Spring, just like I intended to do.”
His companion book for ASOIAF, Fire and Blood, is out now.