George RR Martin on How to be a Great Writer



you are professional for many years now a successful professional what qualities are need you do according to you to be a good fantasy writer what question all qualities are needed to be good fantasy where there well I think it helps but the main part is to be good right is this a thing to write a comic book fantasy different form but you know ultimately it all comes down to story there are people in in my field and of course I've been mostly working in science fiction and fantasy since I first began to publish and horror even extension there are people that are writers who will tell you that these are three completely different fields that science fiction is here and fantasy is over the earth and therefore polar opposites and never the twain shall meet and I don't know where they were horror somewhat down here science but I've never I've never recognized that difference you know when I was a kid reading reading voraciously I read Robert a Heinlein I read an HP Lovecraft a river beneath Howard and then later kr Tolkien and some of these would be classified fantasy of some bizarre and some science fiction to me they were all stories that were met they're stories no stories that took me of the worlds and other times and other other planets or dimensions or what have you and my attorney hell out of them I didn't see these as totally different things and I still don't I think these distinctions are largely false ones the arrogance of money furnishings and I've moved from one to another freely throughout my career I may be one of the writers of the last generation to be able to do that at least in the United States I have to keep remembering but I'm not here in the United States of in Switzerland in the rules may be very different here but American publishing have become very rigid in recent decades I know foreigners younger writers that myself we are writing science fiction and a read of fantasy and apologists as well you cannot write both of these you must have two different names you can write science fiction there says Phil Jones but the new must be Fred Smith on your reigning fantasy because otherwise you will infuse the readers I am actually everything that readers are smarter than that same writer writes different you know different things under under the same name you know certainly the readers of cash generators had no difficulty doing that Robert a Heinlein wrote fantasy HP Lovecraft or science fiction week and these are all just made-up stories so the main thing to be a good writer I think this is you know you you have to have talent you have to have skill with words that seems really obvious but not everyone has it good ears or crows in particular if you're going to write something like comic books or television and film there's so much for it rests on dialogue do you have to have a good ear for dialogue and the way people actually speak and the individuality to give each character his own method of speaking and outside sometimes teach writing classes and their various exercises you can give the students and one of them is to describe a half-dozen different characters and then write a speech for each of these characters without an intake just say okay here's a priest and here's a soldier and here's a housewife and here's a prostitute and here's a you know invent whatever you want write a speech for each of them in which they don't refer to their expression they don't give their name but just make each speech sound different from the other so you can instantly know just from the words this is a priest speaking this is the prostitute speaking and that kind of the talent to do that if they all sound the same you know the problem they should sound different another thing is did empathy and interest in human beings I mean character is the heart of all stories I don't care to rate of science fiction fantasy horror or mainstream story literary fiction mystery novel historical fiction it's all about the people who inhabit it is all about the characters and there will be many different kinds of characters and you should be able to have a certain amount of empathy for them and that's certainly one thing that I've tried very hard to make part of my my fiction even even if you're writing from the viewpoint of someone who has not at all Nero it was a villain perhaps would civility he has his motivations he has his reasons he doesn't know started think he's the villain nobody gets up in the morning as soon as I read it what the old famous can I think today except possibly the Red Skull or in Marvel Comics but even the better normal village don't do that dr. doom had his own reasons for doing what he did dr. Doo thought he was well justified thank you

36 thoughts on “George RR Martin on How to be a Great Writer

  1. I like that he waited to bring up empathy. For some reason it was more meaningful to say this near the end, instead of right out the gate.

  2. how to be a great writer avoid everything season 7& 8 has done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. It's a bit early to claim GRRM is a great writer. He needs to finish the series he is known for in order to achieve that. A great writer can begin, follow through on, and finish a story. The last two he is struggling with. He may have bit off more than he could chew (he originally planned ASOIAF to be a trilogy). While the first three books were enjoyable, the last 2 were world building books with little narrative and character growth. And he has to finish the series which he seems to be struggling with.

    There is a difference between Science Fiction and Fantasy. Sciencie fiction uses current technologies and current scientific theories to project a future society. It's an attempt to predict an interesting future, obviously a writer can only do this so well so there are fictional leaps that have to be taken to accept the universe.

    Fantasy changes fundmental laws of physics of the universe. Thus you have magic or winters that last decades, etc. It is not constrained on what could be possible in our world. GRRM might enjoy them equally (as I do), but it's a bit simplistic to claim they are the same. Star Wars was not science fiction. It was a fantasy in a space setting. Star Trek the next generation was a mix of Science Fiction and Fantasy (as there are many things that are very fanciful within their universe, such as Q).

    A pure science fiction would be a writer attempting to follow what the science claims is possible and extrapolating it into the future. And they are often very, very wrong. But it is still a fun thought experiment. Fantasy approaches it with a fundmental change to the universe and how that effects people like us.

  4. How to be a greater writer today: have a strong female main character and discuss homosexual, perverted, and incestuous sex

  5. He is not a great writer, he is just a popular writer that wrote for the masses who just want a quick, entertainment. Although a fan, Game of Thrones is just a pastiche or mรฉlange of medieval and fantasy with controversial sex, open homosexuality and sexual perversions, and a female main character, all of these three things today make you a great writer.

  6. David Benioff here ,How do you become a Great Writer? it's too late isn't it?

  7. Reading ASOIAF where he uses POV to move the stories on, I am not entirely convinced by his character voices. They all sound the same, not in the dialogues, but in the way each one expresses their inner mind and relationship with the world. I appreciate that deep POV has its problems, but George maintains a neutral narrative voice which is noticably remote and not really authentic – you can see the joins.

  8. Finish your book and stop ruining the TV version by not being involved in it. That's how to be a great writer.

  9. 5:46 why did they laugh at that? Doctor Doom has proven that his methods work for the better. His citizens love him and they prosper. He really does think what he is doing is just and half of the time it is.

  10. As a very casual amateur writer, I find dialog with casual speech the hardest thing.

  11. What separates GRRM from Dumb and Dumber (D&D) is Martin gives us the benefit of the doubt and he assumes we're intelligent and he writes his stories according to that assumption. Dumb and Dumber on the other hand assume we the viewers are idiot's and that we won't appreciate or be enamored with a complex sprawling plot that involves many different possible outcomes, emotions and plot arcs.

    This is why George is the ๐Ÿ

  12. And yet D&D wrote a Night King who was just evil for evils sake. SMH

  13. "By never finishing your work." Would have been a appropriate answer as well.

  14. As a writer I agree completely. Getting too wrapped up into compartmentalizing genres really shortchanges the ability to broaden the scope of storytelling.

  15. George RR Martin: "Nobody gets up in the morning and says 'I'm the villain"
    Tv Show: Hold my Night King…

  16. George RR Martin on How to be a Great Writer:

    "Easy: don't fuck up like D&D did with The Long Night!"

  17. He not that great of a writer. His ideas are good, characters and dialog but as far as writing and putting it altogether, it's not that good, I couldn't get past the 3rd? book. I was so bored with the long winded landscape details and achy feet and reminiscing. Ack. HBO made it all awesome.
    Same thing w The Sookie Stackhouse novels. All made better by HBO.

  18. If you have a great story you just have to work at it and it will take shape, it morphs at the same time and takes detours and you suddenly discover more about your own story. I studied literature at university but have never tried to write an actual novel…but I've had a story in my mind which I really really like.

    I believe you shouldn't try and please others, write it for yourself.

  19. people use to shit on the show an praise grrm .. not gonna argue that the show is shit right now .. but so is his writing and ideas ..
    lady stone heart alone is enough proof that he lost his skill as good writer

  20. So many edgy comments from people complaining about GRRM's writing. Compare and contrast the depth and reach of the complainers' comments on Youtube which represent the peak of their writing experience, versus the works of a well-regarded and successful best-selling author with a career spanning decades.

  21. he drinks coca cola, great just fucking great. hoping him to be healthy.

  22. "what does it take to be a good writer Mr rr Martin?"
    " eat lots" – is what I imagined he would say.

  23. Brandon Sanderson first 3 Mistborn books are fantasy and the next 3 are SciFi, that'd really make most publishers go crazy

  24. How to be a great writer? Don't be George Martin! (There is no R R in his name the lazy fat hack stole it from Tolkien ).

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