All right, I’ve officially exceeded my benchmark for rejections on queries. Back to the drawing board; I’m either botching the submission guidelines somehow, writing a bad query, or there’s a problem with the story/my writing. I’ll start with the last assumption first and go back to work.
In my previous posts, I mentioned several authors who have had an effect on me as an author. I want to stop a moment and focus on George R. R. Martin. Specifically, I want to discuss his massively popular A Song of Ice and Fire series. I came across this set of books in college; a quick google search tells me that it was over a decade old by the time I first picked up A Game of Thrones. It’s impossible to talk about Martin’s work without mentioning Tolkien (he’s been called “The American Tolkien,” after all, a name I’m not sure of Martin’s opinions about), who I’ve previously mentioned was a master of world-building, even if the story-telling can be tedious at points. Martin doesn’t have that problem.
I’ve started a re-read of all the ASoIaF books. I dreaded it going in, because these books are huge, they are complex, and there are (as of this writing) five of them. Google tells me that there are over 1.7 million words in the series thus far. However, my dread was misplaced. The re-read is entirely enjoyable. Martin’s story is really fun to read, despite the rather grim world he’s built. And that is really where Tolkien and Martin intersect to me: immersive world building. Martin leaves hints and clues of foreshadowing in the pages, and it’s all tied into the history of the world the story is set in. There are broad strokes of the history of the world in these books that are generally true, but there are other points that are contested. That are hundreds of deliberate loose ends, and tugging at these is a favorite pastime of fans of the series as we wait for The Winds of Winter. If you haven’t fallen down any of the numerous ASoIaF rabbit holes on Youtube, I highly recommend it (if you’re looking for something to listen to for hours, I should say). He’s created a world that never existed that thousands of people the world over care deeply about. That’s no small thing.
Write your story!
- J. E. Ayers
Jeff Ayers writes books that are pretty good.