These are taken from an article in BuzFeed
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On his first stories.
“I never finished any of my early stories. They were all beginnings, an endless number of beginnings.”
“The best writing advice I had was [in] ‘Heinlein’s Rules for Writers’ by (American science fiction author) Robert A. Heinlein. His first rule is that you must write, and I was already doing that, but his second rule is, ‘You must finish what you write,’ and that had a big impact on me.”
“I had these cheap alien toys and I made up stories for them. They were space pirates. They didn’t have names so I made up names. These were the first stories I wrote. Even as a little kid I was thinking about torture.” – George R.R. Martin
“We never went anywhere because we had no money and we had no car, but I would look out the living room window and see the lights of Staten Island. It was incredibly romantic to me, like Middle Earth. Of course, the danger is you eventually get to Staten Island.”
“Reading. That was the sport I was good at.” – George R.R. Martin
On his first professional work.
“It was a story called ‘The Hero’ which I sold to Galaxy magazine in 1970, for $94.”
“I was a journalism major, and I would take creative writing classes as part of that, but I would also look for opportunities to write stories for some of my other classes. So for my course in Scandinavian history, I asked if I could write historical fiction instead of term papers. Sometimes they’d say yes.” – George R.R. Martin
“It’s different for every writer. It’s not a career for anyone who needs security. It’s a career for gamblers. It’s a career of ups and downs.”
“ The main thing is the stories. Ultimately you want to get back to that room, back to your people.”
“I’ve been very lucky. There were times when I was afraid I would never sell another book, but I never doubted I’d write another book.”
“It’s being ready to accept rejection. You can work on a book for two years and get it published, and it’s like you may as well have thrown it down a well. It’s not all champagne and doing interviews with The New York Times.”
“There’s part of me that loves words. But sometimes it feels like you’re trying to drive nails with your shoe.” – George R.R. Martin
On killing characters and torturing readers.
“I could have written a story about a well-adjusted family. Ned Stark comes down to King’s Landing and takes over and solves all their problems. Would that have been as exciting?”
“The way my books are structured, everyone was together, then they all went their separate ways and the story deltas out like that, and now it’s getting to the point where the story is beginning to delta back in, and the viewpoint characters are occasionally meeting up with each other now and being in the same point at the same time, which gives me a lot more flexibility for killing people.” – George R.R. Martin
“I’ve always had a soft spot for the outsider, for the underdog. ‘Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things’, as the title of one of the (TV series) episodes goes. The angst that they have in life makes for more conflict, makes for more drama, and there’s something very attractive about that. My Game of Thrones is told by outsiders of both types. None of them fit comfortably into the society into which they’ve been born, and they’re all struggling to find a place for themselves in which they’re valued and loved and respected, despite what their society considers their deficiencies. And out of that, I think, comes good stories.” – George R.R. Martin
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