Game Of Thrones author George R R Martin is a notoriously slow writer; both in terms of physical output and getting to the point in a story. Now, his editor has hinted that three more books might be on the cards. If anyone could do with some Lifehacker productivity tips, it's George.
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When George R R Martin first began writing his Game Of Thrones book series, he envisioned it as a single trilogy that would be done 'n' dusted within five years. More than two decades later, there's still no end to the saga in sight. Since 2005, he has published just two novels, which are actually a single volume. (i.e. -- A Feast For Crows and A Dance With Dragons were originally one book. It was divided in half due to length reasons, which explains why only half the characters appear in each novel.)
During a recent Q&A with Suvudu Universe, Martin's longtime editor Anne Lesley Groell hinted that the current plan for two more books might not be enough to wrap up the whole story:
Seven books is what we currently have under contract [but] I begin to wonder. I remember when he called me, years and years back, to confess that his little trilogy was no longer a trilogy, he predicted four books. I said Seven Books for Seven Kingdoms. Then he said five books. I said Seven Books for Seven Kingdoms. Then he went to six. I said… Well, you get the idea. Finally, we were on the same page. Seven Books for Seven Kingdoms. Good! Only, as I recently learned while editing The World Of Ice And Fire, there are really technically eight kingdoms, all having to do with who has annexed what when Aegon the Conqueror landed in Westeros. So, maybe eight books for Seven Kingdoms would be okay.
In addition, Groell admitted that Martin refuses to use a laptop on the road despite his many celebrity engagements and can also be stubborn when it comes to editorial suggestions. (For example, she apparently tried to get him to cut down on the phrase "words are wind" in the last book, but he insisted on re-using the utterance 14 times.)
Groell also confirmed that she has received a scant 168 pages of manuscript for the next book in the series The Winds Of Winter; or approximately one tenth:
I currently have 168 pages that he submitted back in Feb 2013 in order to receive a contracted payment, but I know more exists, because he keeps talking about a chapter he hasn’t yet sent me.
In other words, there's likely going to be a long wait for the next book in the series, and an even longer wait before we get the seventh and possibly eighth installment. That the HBO TV show will overtake the books is now an absolute certainty.
Groell admitted that she sent Martin an impassioned plea to not let the show get out ahead of him:
I can’t predict what will happen from here, but I definitely want his version to be my first version. And I think a lot of you want that, too. His vision started this; I very much want his vision to end it, too.
Fat chance of that. If there's a lesson to be learned here, it's that it pays to knuckle down and stick to your game plan. If you're reading George, you can find plenty of productivity tips on our website.
[Via Suvudu Universe]