Born to Write: George R.R. Martin
Born September 20, 1948, Santa Fe resident George Raymond Richard Martin has been writing fantasy, horror, and sci-fi for quite a while. You may have heard of his somewhat grim, one might say even dark, epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire, now at 5 volumes strong and still not finished, the source and spirit of HBO’s definitely-not-comedy hit, Game of Thrones. Martin’s success has allowed him to indulge in supporting the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary, as well as the Meow Wolf immersive arts installation collective, reopen Santa Fe’s historic Jean Cocteau Cinema, and become involved in other worthy causes.
Yet despite having so little time left over for his own writing, George is surprisingly generous with advice for writers. A good place to start is at his website with several essays on writing and interesting information in the FAQ too. Other helpful pieces are:
George has done a huge number of podcasts:
- The very first eight podcasts he ever did, on A Song of Ice and Fire, archived at his website.
- Best George R.R. Martin podcasts at Player.fm.
- If that’s not enough, a podcast site devoted to the TV series with literally hundreds of episodes: A Podcast of Ice and Fire
- His interview at the Nerdist.
- The transcript of one done for the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy.
He’s not been shy about doing videos, either. YouTube lists well over 3,000 hits for “George R. R. Martin writing tips” but most are irrelevant or silly. There are many, however, well worth viewing:
- A series called “How to Write Like George R.R. Martin” (and the website),
- An illuminating Master Class by the Higher Learning Digital Resource Hub on how the books and TV series differ,
- His talk with Stephen King that took place in Albuquerque’s own KiMo Theatre last summer, as well as numerous other filmed talks and interviews he has done.
To round it out, back to print:
- And there’s even an interview where he gives interview and writing tips.
- But if all that’s too much, 3 basic writing tips should get you started
Here are some other articles not specifically proffering advice as much as providing illuminating insights into his work:
- A New Yorker piece, Just Write It! on the author versus his fans.
- His Rolling Stone interview
- And finally, “Minimalism, Success and the Curious Writing Habit of George R.R. Martin” – how using obsolete writing technology helps him focus.