On Rushing Creative People   3 comments

HBO’s President of Programming recently said in an interview that he takes the blame for the critically panned second season of True Detective. He rushed the creator of the series to meet the air date deadline last year, resulting in a mishmash story with great potential and poor execution.

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Recently, George R.R. Martin (GRRM) wrote on his blog that the 6th book will not be released before the 6th season of the TV series. He planned on finishing the novel early 2016. He tried, but he just couldn’t do it. He said he won’t set himself up like that again.

My first exposure to A Song of Ice and Fire was from the TV show Game of Thrones. I haven’t read all the books released for the series, but I’m going through the first book right now. The way the books are set up is that each chapter based on a specific character’s point of view. The chapters are titled as each character’s first name. One thing I noticed that many people probably haven’t picked up is that GRRM meticulously words each chapter to convey how that specific character would think, speak or describe something. When you read that chapter, it doesn’t feel like GRRM is speaking. So imagine writing a book written with multiple POVs in mind and work on it so everything makes sense. Most of the books I’ve read so far are 1st person POV or 3rd person omniscient POV. I’ve read 3 POV character books, but they’re usually narrowed down to a few people.

In gaming, big studios have adapted two ways to publishing their flagship franchises. The “Activision/EA/Ubisoft” method, which is releasing a game sequel every year; or the “RockStar/Bethesda Softworks” method of releasing their next game sequel as an event. Only big companies with multiple game development studios around the world can tackle yearly sequels. It keeps most fans happy. However, it oversaturates the franchise. Sure, each game has been in development for 3-4 years, but they end up using the same technologies and techniques as previous games. These games end up being similar, except for a few small game mechanic tweaks. Other companies take their time, building a game from the ground up. This builds hype and anticipation from the fans. Case in point, The Force Awakens.

There’s this never ending tug of war between creator and consumer. As a consumer, be it movies, books, comics, TV shows, games and others, you always want more of what you love. You gobble up everything in your path like Pac Man. As a creator, besides doing what you love, you’re also catering to your fans and want to deliver a product to be best of your ability without disappointing them (unless you have a Twitter account and get into arguments with critics and fans, then forget what I said).

Putting my rational consumer hat on, I can always find something else to get into to pass the time. Putting my rational creative hat on, as GRRM said, “it will be done when it’s done.”

I’m done.

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3 responses to “On Rushing Creative People

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  1. I love the books, but I really think he was just waiting for the show to tell him what to write. To be fair his other novels took years, but it has already been years and the show is still going strong and consumers are demanding more. They want it faster than he can go through the creative process so they are probably forcing him to conform to a certain frame work.

  2. **If the show wasn’t pushing so hard I’d be content to wait.

    • I think fans are just going to have to accept that the show and the books are divergent. It happens a lot in manga/anime when the tv show catches up with the manga, creating a totally different path and ending (Kenshin, original Fullmetal Alchemist anime). Or continue the story even when the source already ended (Dragonball GT).

      I see it like this. It’s really unfair to force GRRM to finish an entire novel, even when the showrunners are only going to use half the characters he’s introduced, which some are key to the books with intriguing storyline.

      Also, the guy who invented the Dothraki and High Valyrian languages for the show (David J. Peterson) has influenced how GRRM is writing the last two novels to an extent. About 2-3 years ago, Martin asked Peterson a series of Dothraki translations for the next novels. So there’s that.

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