How important are deadlines? Ask George R.R. Martin, author of the books behind HBO’s ‘Game Of Thrones’

If you are the type who likes to read the book before it becomes a motion picture, there is one famous author right now who just broke your cardinal rule: He won’t finish his new A Song of Ice and Fire book before Game of Thrones airs its next season—just as readers have long feared. (The Atlantic/photo source)

George R.R. Martin, author of the A Song of Fire and Ice series, which inspires the hit HBO TV show Game of Thrones, just announced the sixth installment in his fantasy series will not be finished before its film version plays on HBO.

This from Yahoo TV:

Game Of Thrones author George RR Martin has missed the deadline for the sixth novel in the fantasy series that would have allowed The Winds Of Winter to be published before the next season of the HBO TV series begins, the author confirmed on his blog. “The Winds Of Winter is not finished.”

“Believe me, it gave me no pleasure to type those words. You’re disappointed, and you’re not alone, “Martin posted today. “My editors and publishers are disappointed, HBO is disappointed, my agents and foreign publishers and translators are disappointed … but no one could possibly be more disappointed than me. For months now I have wanted nothing so much as to be able to say, “I have completed and delivered The Winds Of Winter on or before the last day of 2015. But the book’s not done.”

Nor will it be done soon. The first deadline for the book to be published in March before the new season of the TV series is scheduled to begin was the end of October.

“Unfortunately, the writing did not go as fast or as well as I would have liked,” Martin says. “Sometimes the writing goes well and sometimes it doesn’t … as spring turned to summer, I was having more bad days than good ones. Around about August, I had to face facts: I was not going to be done by Halloween.”


Though his biggest fans, including we here at SWL, empathize with the plight of writing such multi-faceted stories under hard deadlines, others responded to the news on Twitter with a little less understanding.

It’s no surprise the TV networks don’t get it, but we wanted to know what other writers think about Martin missing HBO’s deadline.

So, naturally, we conducted a cursory survey of writers on Twitter. This tweet from @TroyLWiggins sums up the results.

January 5, 2016
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