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Thursday, October 15, 2020

Finishing What You Write

 “One of the big breakthroughs, I think for me, was reading Robert A. Heinlein's four rules of writing, one of which was, 'You must finish what you write.' I never had any problem with his first one, 'You must write' - I was writing since I was a kid.” – George R.R. Martin

Wise words from one of the most prolific and “busiest” writers in the world with his ever-popular “Game of Thrones” series, who says he's been "immersed" in the Seven Kingdoms of his fictional world for several decades now.  I had the pleasure of meeting Martin a couple years ago when we were both speaking at the Historical Writers of America conference in New Mexico where he makes his home.

“The odd thing about being a writer is you do tend to lose yourself in your books. Sometimes it seems like real life is flickering by and you're hardly a part of it,” Martin said.  “You remember the events in your books better than you remember the events that actually took place when you were writing them.”

And, in Martin’s case, we – the readers – vividly remember those “book” events, too.  A goal every writer hopes for, but few achieve.  “All fiction,” he added, “has to have a certain amount of truth in it to be powerful.”  

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