Five reasons why writing a novel is like Game of Thrones (Season 1 spoilers alert!)

(Please note this post contains spoilers for the first book/season of Game of Thrones! Proceed with caution.)

Who’s hooked on the latest series of Game of Thrones? I’m watching with a mixed group of readers and non-readers, so it’s been thrilling to see how we all approach the storyline – some, completely fresh – others analysing their reactions to seeing the novels’ various plots unfold on screen. I was actually pretty disappointed to be spoiled on Twitter as to a recent major event – and even MORE disappointed by the reactions I saw stating: ‘Well, if you don’t want to be spoiled then read the books!’ For me, the TV carries its own momentum and even though I know the events I don’t know when in the TV they will appear.

Anyway, minor gripe over – time for a bit of fun. How about five ways that writing a novel is like the Game of Thrones…?

1. There are lots of characters and plotlines to keep up with.

Whether you’re writing fantasy or contemporary, historical or crime, you’ve got to keep your characters and plots straight. George R.R. Martin holds them all in his head but he also has the fab Elio & Linda of Westeros.org to help him out if he forgets the colour of a knight’s horse. If only we could all have our own personal archivists, that’d be great!

Voyager

2. The big six versus Houses of Westeros

houses

Like the Starks, Lannisters and Targaryens, the big publishers all vie to rule the book realm. So, who do you pledge your allegiance to – the powerhouse Penguin Random House? Crafty HarperCollins? Heavyweight Hachette? Mighty Macmillan?

3. Brutal cuts must be made.

To your manuscript.

ed-stark-beheaded.game_.of_.thrones

Or someone’s head.

4. You must take a cue from the mother of dragons and rise from the ashes 

bad review

We all have those bad days. The days when you ‘stumble’ onto Goodreads only to see your writing eviscerated  by a bad review. But there’s only one thing for it – to get up, dust yourself off, and hopefully have a pet dragon to show for it. Or at least, skin as thick as dragon hide.

5. Creativity run dry? Sometimes, one word is enough:

hodor

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