George RR Martin, notorious for the slow pace of his output since his book Game of Thrones became a worldwide sensation and an HBO series, is apparently stepping up his writing pace.
Martin said on his blog that he is writing the next installment, The Winds of Winter, at “a steady pace.” But, he conceded, “I still have a long way to go.”
Nonetheless, the 71-year-old said he hoped to finish sometime before a 2021 convention. The pandemic has helped him focus. Martin had been consulting on the HBO plans for sequels to Game of Thrones and enjoying his new found celebrity.
The led to accusations from some fans that the final books in the series would never be finished. His last published work was A Dance with Dragons, which came out in 2011. Some fans, too, were hoping that Martin might craft a more satisfying ending to the saga than the HBO series, which left some underwhelmed at its abrupt resolutions.
“Yes, I am in an actual cabin in the mountains,’ Martin joked on his blog, adding he didn’t have a fever. “If nothing else, the enforced isolation has helped me write. I am spending long hours every day on The Winds of Winter and making steady progress,” he wrote.
The author claimed he has finished three chapters within the last two weeks. Martin also said he hoped to introduce the new work at a New Zealand fan convention in 2021, “When I hope that both Covid-19 and The Winds of Winter will be done.”
Underline the word “hope.”
He did, however, warn that, “But no, this does not mean that the book will be finished tomorrow or published next week. It’s going to be a huge book and I still have a long way to go.”
Martin seemed to offer an apology on his deliberate writing pace. “Way, way back in 1999, when I was deep in the writing of A Storm of Swords, I was averaging about 150 pages of manuscript a month,” he said. “I fear I shall never recapture that pace again. Looking back, I am not sure how I did it then. A fever, indeed.”
Stoking expectations, Martin said he has been covering new material on some familar characters, including “Cersei, Asha, Tyrion, Ser Barristan and Areo Hotah.”
He still has some distractions planned though. He will host the Hugo Awards, an annual celebration of science fiction and fantasy writing. He has been recording some Zoom bits for that show, “a wise precaution, since I am hopeless with Zoom and Skype and like things. But that is a lot less time-consuming and distracting than flying to the other end of the world.”
Martin closed with a call-back to one of the most famous Game of Thrones characters. “Now, you will have to excuse me. Arya is calling. I think she means to kill someone.”
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