Friday, 22 February 2013

Dissection of A Game of Thrones

“We are only human, and the gods have fashioned us for love. That is our great glory, and our great tragedy.” ― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

I started reading this book a few weeks ago (I know: I’m a laggard) and am almost done with Book One. This fantasy novel amazes me. There isn’t a moment where you doze off or your thoughts get the better of you. Even when the author uses a whole paragraph to explain the intricate clothing of a certain lord or lady, I found myself really imagining what they looked like instead of skipping to the next page (which I often do simply because I have the attention span of a goldfish). The shifts in POV are amazing: how George Martin breathes life into his characters (male and female alike) is beyond brilliant. It really doesn’t matter how old or fancy or rich or desperate the character is, this writer portrays them as they are—weaknesses, strengths, fears and hopes all bundled up in one. You won’t need to figure out whose point of view you’re in….you just won’t forget once you’re there because he makes you feel as though you’re in their heads.

The dedication I witnessed in each line and word and thought left me slightly dizzy…I mean this guy has got to spend 28 hours a day writing because there is no other explanation!

“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”
George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

And what did I learn from this book for my personal writing goals?

1. An author doesn’t need big, fancy words to make his/her point.

2. I couldn’t put the book down because the author made me CARE about the characters.

3. There is no need to paint an exact picture of a location for readers—they usually like to fill in the blanks themselves.

4. Female and male characters cannot talk in the same voice and should not always be able to understand each other immediately (as in real life!).

5. Writing about magic means believing in it but also to leave room for a little bit of skepticism.

6. Characters with pets are usually more likeable.

So cross your fingers and let us hope that the sequel to The Scarlet Omen fulfills these criteria. Sigh… an author’s path to perfection is a never-ending journey of stumbling over better books and sound advice.

“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”
George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

No comments:

Post a Comment