Well, maybe he does—after all, part of writing a novel as long-in-the-works and expansive as The Winds of Winter, the latest novel in the Song of Ice and Fire series that gave us Game of Thrones, is going back and revising things. But if you were hoping author George R.R. Martin’s latest update on the book he hoped to stop updating us about would come with a shiny new number, then, bad news.
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“The main thing I’m actually writing, of course, is the same thing,” Martin recently said of Winds in an appearance on Bangcast. “I wish I could write as fast as [Last Kingdom writer] Bernard Cornwell but I’m 12 years late on this damn novel and I’m struggling with it,” Martin said.
“I have like 1,100 pages written but I still have hundreds more pages to go,” the writer continued. “It’s a big mother of a book for whatever reason. Maybe I should’ve started writing smaller books when I began, this but it’s tough. That’s the main thing that dominates most of my working life.”
That 1,100 number is familiar to anyone who has now been following the story of Winds of Winter being written for a decent chunk of their life—it’s the same page count Martin gave roughly this time last year, when he discussed the novel on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. Then, Martin estimated that he had around another 500 pages or more to write, having previously estimated that Winds would be the longest novel in the series so far, trumping the approximately 1,500 page manuscripts for Dance with Dragons and Storm of Swords.
It’s perhaps not the update people hoped for when it comes to Winds of Winter, but it’s an update nonetheless. Re-iteration and revision is part of any writing process, let alone an undertaking as vast and with as high expectations as Winds of Winter—and as Martin enters what is, hopefully, at long last the home stretch of bringing his manuscript to an end, maybe a year of working on what he already had is exactly what he needed.
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