George R.R. Martin, author of the acclaimed A Song of Fire and Ice series from which the HBO hit show Game of Thrones is based on recently sat down with Independent.ie and gave his thoughts on a wide range of topics – including why it’s taking so long for the next book in the saga – The Winds of Winter – to be completed.
Fans of the series are understandably getting a bit anxious as HBO’s series is entering it’s fifth season – and Martin has only published 5 books, with two more planned. The last book readers have been able to get their hands on was A Dance with Dragons, and the last three books were published 5 or 6 years apart – definitely no small chunk of time for readers to wait to find out which of their favorite characters are up next on the chopping block as Martin is so apt to do.
According to Independent.ie, Martin keeps detailed charts, family trees, and lists of chronologies in digital format which he consults from time to time, but surprisingly he goes on to mention that most of it is just in his head. When he does write about a character however, Martin fires up his DOS word processor – yes, he utilizes a system running DOS and WordStar 4.0 – to make sure he keeps his facts straight.
Primitive though it is, compared to certain systems, it has a search and replace function that is very useful. I have assembled all four of the published books into one gigantic document. If I am about to write about a character, Bill, I do a search and see every previous time I mentioned Bill and what I said about him. Even then, I still make mistakes because it is large. That is maybe one reason why I’ve slowed down a little, as I get deeper into it and it gets more and more complex, it is harder to remember. Maybe I take a little more time in reviewing what I did last week or last year or three years ago.
– George R.R. Martin
Given that the previous novels are no small affairs – the series so far comprises of over 4,000 pages, there’s no doubt it would be tricky to keep the facts on your hundreds of different characters straight. We can only hope that Martin is nearing completion of The Winds of Winter and we’ll be seeing it in stores sooner rather than later. How much longer are you willing to wait for the next installment in the series? Let us know below in the comments, or on Google+, Facebook, or Twitter!