Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Writer's Block

If you're a regular reader of my blog (and frankly, who isn't), you know that I've been pretty hard on author George R.R.R.R. Martin the past few years. Why? Because he's seemingly done just about everything possible to avoid bellying up to the typewriter and finally finishing his goddamned Game Of Thrones books (aka A Song Of Ice And Fire).

Martin began the series way back in 1996, a full nineteen years ago. He's written five of the books in that time frame, and still has two to go. When the last one will be released, no one can say (including, I'm betting, Martin himself).

Believe it or not, Martin is far from being the King Of Pokey Writers. That title would have to go to author noted sci-fi author David Gerrold, who wrote the beloved Star Trek episode The Trouble With Tribbles.

Gerrold started a series of sci-fi books called The War Against The Chtorr back in 1983. It's the story of an Earth invasion, but instead of sending ships full of conquering armies, these aliens send plant an animal life to take over our planet and make it compatible with them.

Like Martin, David Gerold says there will be seven books in his Chtorr series. So far he's written four: A Matter For Men in 1983, A Day For Damnation in 1985, A Rage For Revenge in 1989 and A Season For Slaughter in 1993 (boy, somebody really likes alliterative titles).

The fifth book in the series, titled A Method For Madness, has been on hold since 1993. That's twenty two years! 22! Fans have been waiting over two decades now for the next book to come out! Man, talk about lead time!

Twenty two years! Jesus Christ! A couple could meet, fall in love, get married, have a kid, raise it and send it off to college in less time than that! George R.R. Martin wrote five books in his series in less time than that!

I read the first book way back in the 1980s and thought it was just OK. I'm very glad I never got hooked on the series.

In a recent interview, Gerrold said the reason it's taking so long to finish the book is because "he was stuck figuring out how to best write a couple of chapters."

Seriously? That's it? Two measly chapters are the big hold up? You've had TWENTY TWO Years to figure out how to write them! All writers get stuck from time to time, but twenty two years?

Fellow sci-fi author Isaac Asimov wrote 468 books in his lifetime. I'm sure they weren't all gems, but he got 'em done. He didn't sit around waiting twenty two years to figure out how to end a goddamned sentence. If part of your book is giving you that much trouble then you need to just cut it out, or write it the second best way you can and be done with it.

Gerrold recently stated that A Method For Madness is finally finished, and will be published "soon." I'm assuming that's Gerrold-speak for "sometime in the next ten to fifteen years."

At Gerrold's current rate, look for Book 6 of The War Against The Chtorr sometime around 2037, and Book 7 in 2059, when he's 115 years old.

You know, suddenly George R.R. Martin's glacial output doesn't seem so bad after all.

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree 22 years of writers block? Come on...


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