George R.R. Martin recently announced that he won’t write the script for one of the episodes of the sixth season of the HBO television series Game Of Thrones, which is based on his fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire so that instead he can focus on finishing the sixth book in the series, titled The Winds of Winter.
Leaked pages from his diary on the MS-DOS–based computer he still writes on reveal, however, a new distraction.
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June 15th 2015
Well, the fifth season of the television show version of 'A Song of Ice and Fire' just ended, and, as predicted, people are already pestering me more than ever to finish up my sixth book, 'The Winds of Winter' before the start of the sixth season on TV. I try to tell people that a book takes longer than a TV show to make. I author 1,000-page novels; TV writers scribble screenplays that are what, like, 10 pages long plus some storyboard sketches to inspire the CGI people to do something in post? Please.
Oh Diary, sometimes I wish I could go back to 1991 and warn myself of all the trouble that would follow from the publication of 'A Song of Ice and Fire.' But alas, I’ve set out to write a seven-installment epic fantasy saga, and a seven-installment epic fantasy saga I shall write.
Only two more tomes to go. You can do this, Georgie. You can do this.
Time to write!
Yep! About to start writing. Just looking around my room, making sure everything is in order...
Diary! I just found this copy of 'Infinite Jest' by David Foster Wallace that I purchased from the Strand when I walked past on a visit to Forbidden Planet comics years ago. I've always meant to read this! Huh. Perhaps before I start writing, I could give this a quick read. You know, for inspiration. Does that seem like a good plan, Diary? Read some other author's 1,000-page novel to inspire me to finish one of my own? I imagine I’ll be so inspired by DFW’s long work that surely I’ll blaze through my own work!
It's decided then.
Okay, time to read. Then time to write. How long could it take?
June 15th 2015 - continued
Woah, 'Infinite Jest' is dense. Diary, this novel has footnotes. Footnotes! It’s like I’m reading a textbook. Every page I spend 30 seconds just flipping back to the end to find and read the footnote, then have to find where I was on the page. This is going to take a while.
June 21st 2015
Oh my The-Many-Faced-God, this book is great. Yes, it is long and convoluted and dense, but I’m really enjoying it. High fantasy is still where my heart is at, but check out this sentence:
“An alcohol hangover was definitely no frolic in the psychic glade, all thirsty and sick and your eyes bulging and receding with your pulse, but after a night of involved hallucinogens Hal said the dawn seemed to confer on his psyche a kind of pale sweet aura, a luminescence.” (p. 218)
Note to self: have Tyrion abandon wine for LSD or dragon-LSD or some shit?
OK, back to reading. Going faster now. Should be done with this and back to writing in no time.
July 5th 2015
Reading progress has slowed. Having to read some sections multiple times. I’m no The Mountain, but I think even Maester Aemon would be struggling with some of these passages. Such as:
“So then like strategically, at the Brookline Young People’s Mtg. over on Beacon near the Newton line on a Wednesday, at the raffle-break, at 2109h., Lenz moistens his half-gasper and puts it carefully back in the pack and yawns and stretches and does a quick pulse-check and gets up and saunters casually into the Handicapped head with the lockable door and the big sort of crib built around the shitter itself for crippled lowering onto the toilet and does like maybe two, maybe three generous lines of Bing off the top of the toilet-tank and wipes the tank-top off both before and after with wet paper towels, ironically rolling up the same crisp buck he’d brought for the meeting’s collection and utilizing it and cleaning it thoroughly with his finger and rubbing his gums with the finger and then putting his head way back in the mirror to check the kidney-shaped nostrils of his fine aqua-line nose for clinging evidence in the trim hair up there and tasting the bitter drip in the back of his frozen throat and taking the clean rolled buck and back-rolling it and smoothing it out and hammering it with his fist on the lip of the sink and folding it neatly into half of half its original Treasury Dept. size so that all evidence anybody ever even had a passing thought of rolling the buck into a hard tight tube is, like anileated.” (p. 555)
That’s one sentence. Diary, do you know what anileated means? Neither do I. In fact, neither does my Webster’s dictionary. Getting frustrated. Reading slowing.
Really trying to rush and finish reading this thing though so I can get to writing. I don’t disappoint my fans. How long does a 10-episode season of TV with elaborate battle scenes, dozens of exotic locations, even more characters, and tons of CGI take to make? Ten months? Making a TV show is so much easier than writing a novel.
August 11th 2015
Went on a picnic today with that nice girl I met at BookCon in May at the Javitz Center. Had a fun time. Hard to tell if she likes me for me or just because I am famous. At the end we were feeding strawberries to each other and it seemed like maybe we were about to kiss, but then she brought up, “So, do you have any pages of the next book I could take a peak at?” and then I was all, “You mean besides the bonus preview chapter I already posted on my blog?” and then it was awkward because maybe I said it a bit too aggressively and it sort of killed the mood.
p.s. - still haven’t finished reading 'Infinite Jest.' Been traveling a lot and it is too heavy to carry in my messenger bag.
September 20th 2015
OK. I cancelled all my future talking and travel appointments. No more conferences. No more dates with nice girl from BookCon. Only writing the next book. Time to get this thing done. Just going to real quick finish reading 'Infinite Jest' and then will get to writing.
October 4th 2015
I mean, wtf:
“The only sound at the table for the first few minutes is of forkwork and mastication and the slight gasping sounds of people trying to breathe while they eat.” (p. 627)
I can’t decide if I love DFW’s flowery language or if it is just pretentious for pretentious sake. Like, if someone used “mastication” in one of my fantasy writing groups when they could just say “eating,” we’d shame them like Cersei walking naked to the Red Keep in King’s Landing. I mean, compare that to the last sentence I wrote for 'The Winds of Winter' before I stopped to read this insanely long book instead:
“Some of the competitors have been here for almost a moon’s turn, partaking of my father’s meat and mead. All good fellows, and very brave… but they do eat rather a lot.”
Sure, I throw in a fancy $5 word like “partaking,” but then I conclude with “eat rather a lot” not “masticate in exceedingly prodigious plentitudes.”
But then again, I just can’t stop reading. By the Valyrian Steel of Longclaw, I like this book.
November 30th 2015
Making progress. Not on writing. Haven’t done any writing in months. But nearly done with 'Infinite Jest.' Have spent last month rereading this passage, trying to wrap my head around it:
“The anhedonic can still speak about happiness and meaning et al., but she has become incapable of feeling anything in them, of understanding anything about them, or of believing them to exist as anything more than concepts. Everything becomes an outline of the thing. Objects become schemata. The world becomes a map of the world.” (p. 692)
That’s more cryptic than Jaqen H’ghar training Arya in the House of Black and White, amiright? Amiright, Diary? I am. Iamaright.
January 2nd 2016
How is it 2016? I’ve got like a dozen voicemails from my agent and I think I saw Benioff and Weiss peeking in through the windows of my studio last night trying to see if I was home. Creepers!
But the good news is that I finally did it. I finished reading 'Infinite Jest.'
“The intercom calmly dinged. He heard conversing people in the hall passing the open door and stopping for a second to look in, but still conversing. It occurred to him if he died everybody would still exist and go home and eat and X their wife and go to sleep.” (p. 973)
Diary, that’s sometimes how I feel. If I died, some readers would be sad, sure, but most people out there would just go on living their lives and watch the HBO show and be perfectly content without reading the last 2,000 pages of my remaining two unfinished books. Oh Diary, maybe I never should have told HBO how the series ends (Daenerys marries Jon Snow as a White Walker but it’s revealed that they’re long lost Targaryen siblings so they have to fly on the back of a dragon to the moon to celebrate their incestual love in peace).
I guess no sense feeling sorry for myself. Time to get to work. Time to finish the sixth book.
But first, real quick going to write a few childrens books, read 'War and Peace,' learn Mandarin, and then translate 'War and Peace' into Mandarin. No sweat. I'll have this thing done in no time.