The Game of Big Books

I hope Kristan Higgins doesn’t sue me for stealing that phrase from her recent talk. I think this would be a fun game to play! Now, understand that I haven’t read any of the Game of Thrones books. But I got a free copy at the last RWA meeting, and so I have to get the first one and read them all. I know a bit about the goings-on due to friends who have read them or have watched the television version.

Here’s how to play: First you build a world where it’s always one season all the time. Winter is taken. I suppose Dune could be considered to have taken Summer without end. Endless Spring doesn’t seem threatening enough. Autumn, anyone?

121015 Autumn

On this world, technology is not allowed or not invented yet. There could be magic. There could be science that looks like magic to everyone. But it would not be wide-spread. The government would be a monarchy or tyranny.

Now, create a half-billion characters of extreme importance to the plot. Did I forget to say there has to be a plot? Well, it may get lost in all the characters, cultures, royals, royal bastards, and strange yet beautiful animals. Really.

121015 got flow chart

Religions? Yes, five according to the Game of Thrones Wiki. By the way, the actual series is called Song of Ice and Fire. Game of Thrones is just the first book. But you probably already knew that.

Now, endear your characters to your fans, make one in particular seem like the hero or main focus, and then off with his head. Kill everyone who seems important! Kill everyone who made a difference in the story. Kill their families, too. If they had pets, stake them out on the walls of the fortress.

You see, there are lots of powerful Houses and lots of wars and rebellions. There’s incest. There’s betrayals. There’s a Mad King, Seven Kingdoms, and things going horribly awry. Assassinations at weddings, cool place names, and so much history, I can’t believe the author keeps it all straight. Seasons last for years and years. How do you make that work with the laws of physics and solar principles? Maybe it’s magic!

121015 bloddy wedding

There are five novels out in the series, none of them of what I would call normal paperback size. There are two more being prepared for release. There’s a television show, as I said, and games and shirts and backpacks and on and on. It’s HUGE! So that’s how you win the Game of Big Books. You write at least a thousand pages of complicated history, chop up all the people who matter, and wait for the fans to clamor for more. Oh, it helps if you have some talent at writing and persist is working at novels above all else. That’s all.

Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.


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