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Writing tips from bestselling fantasy author George R.R. Martin

Earlier this month, bestselling fantasy author George R. R. Martin spoke at the Sydney Opera House on his series The Game of Thorns and the craft of writing. Below are a few highlights from Chris Jager’s article on

Avoid fantasy cliches: “One of the things that drives me crazy is the externalization of evil, where evil comes from the “Dark Lord” who sits in his dark palace with his dark minions who all wear black and are very ugly.”

On writing “grey” characters–complex characters who are not all good or all evil: “We’re all grey and I think we all have the capacity in us to do heroic things and very selfish things. I think understanding that is how you create characters that really have some depth to them.” 

Show grief but don’t overdo it: “Presenting not just death, but grief is important. We’ve all experienced the loss of our parents, or sibling, or close friend, and it’s a very powerful emotion.”

Check out the rest of the article to see what Martin has to say about POV, borrowing from history, and imagination.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Good stuff. Thanks,

    November 27, 2013
  2. Thanks for the link. I went and read the whole article, and found his perspective on viewpoint interesting – it highlights how much his massive sprawling cast is about creating a sense of history.

    December 18, 2013

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