Kill your darlings.
A piece of advice that every writer is told over and over again. It’s really sound advice, really helps with editing; no one can deny that. It also has many meanings for many people. For some writers, it’s about getting rid of an entire scene or character because no matter how awesome you think they are , they don’t flow well. It could also be taken quite literally, as the way it seems George R. R. Martin takes it.
I haven’t read A Song of Ice and Fire. I tried, but after seeing the show and attempting to read it afterwards, it was accurate enough that I couldn’t get through it. I have that issue most times. But, anyway, Martin is ruthless with his characters. It seems every 2 or 3 episodes show wise a main character –or darling- is offed quite abruptly. In a way this is genius. It gives the fan a sense of uneasiness, and fear for the characters that I’ve never really experienced before. I find myself on edge in every scene with Daenerys, hoping that some mad man won’t randomly stab her in the back. Yes, Daenerys is m my favorite character. How can she not be? She’s gorgeous, a bad ass, and the mother of dragons. That’s like 3 out of my top 4 things I look for in a woman.
They way Martin manages to create this extra edge, this fear of attachment to his characters is inspiring as a writer. In a way, it almost seems revolutionary. In almost every other story you have your main characters. They’ll always live no matter what they face. But not in Song of Ice and Fire. No one is safe. Doesn’t matter how important they are, or how many ties they have to other plot lines, they could die with a snap of the fingers.
I think it’s safe to say that George R.R. Martin has mastered the art of killing his darlings. And from his success, I can’t help but think it well help alter the future of stories as we know them.
-Your Dragon Mother Lover