Mary E. Ulrich has written books on autism and is an aspiring romance author. Mary looks for lessons on writing everywhere and she found some as she read George R. R. Martin’s series on Ice and Fire. The first book is Game of Thrones. I thought the lessons she found were very good and asked her to share them here with us.
Lessons for authors:
When you have a twist in the story it should be significant.
You can kill off a main character and then have that hero still be a central
figure throughout the rest of the story.
Contrary to standard wisdom, you can have a cast of thousands and name them.
Characters names need to use all the alphabet letters. i.e. There are too
many “A” and “Tryon.” names.
It is smart to make families have the same last name.
It is tricky to blend magic, fantasy with reality. i.e. The dragons, the
“others” .. (wondering if the “others” were used by Martin before the “Lost”
series came along?)
There are numerous creative ways to give backstory.
It is okay to assume the reader has read the previous books and you can dive
The entire series works because even though each character has their own
chapter, the entire series is written in 3rd person.
The characters have their own voices, i.e. “Jon Snow you know nothing.”
The bigger themes of “Fire and Ice” pull the books together.
Historical traditions can be blended into the story. i.e. There were good
and bad knights-not just the King Arthur type heroes, cutting off
fingers/heads was considered justice..
Characters can change.