10 Questions I Would Ask George R. R. Martin

10 Questions I Would Ask George R. R. Martin

You will not avoid finding any Martin fanboys, especially since you found one right here
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If I was at a conference and I was given the mike during the Q&A; session, I would personally ask George R. R. Martin one of these questions based on curiosities and unanswered questions.

1. About An Expanded Universe Of Ice And Fire

Robert Scott III

Considering how you did diligent work with "The Lands of Ice and Fire" and "The World of Ice and Fire" and how you collaborate with Daniel Abraham, Gardner Dozois, and other authors, would you trust them to write "Ice and Fire" canon stories that take place outside of Westeros, like writing about the Braavosi adventurer who recorded the Dothraki war against the Ibbish?

2. About "Avalon"

Wikimedia

You wanted to write a science fiction novel titled "Avalon" which eventually became "A Game of Thrones." I found it interesting that in your early science fiction work, one of the planets was named "Avalon." In fact, there are a lot of similarities between "The Song of Ice and Fire" and your earlier work. So my question would be: Where did you originally have "A Game of Thrones" fit in this canon, like as a sequel to "Dying of the Light" or as its own stand-alone novel?

3. About Literary Influences

Robert Scott III

Which three of your literary influences would you like to have dinner with?

4. About Pronunciations

Robert Scott III

When I first read "A Game of Thrones," I admit that I had a hard time pronouncing the names like I would pronounce Tyrion as [tih-ree-AWN]; Daenerys as [DAY-neh-ris]; Yronwood as [ee-RAWN-wood]. Alongside the "The World Of Ice And Fire," have you thought of working alongside linguist David J. Peterson in releasing a pronunciation guide?

5. About Another Writer Also Dubbed A "Tolkien"

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I am sure you heard of M. A. R. Barker. He was the writer of the "Tekumel" science fiction series and he was also compared to Tolkien, for the same reasons you were in terms of in-depth world-building. What would you say is considered Tolkienian?

6. About Fantasy

Robert Scott III

I noticed a lot of similarities between the "Song of Ice and Fire" and your early fantasy short stories, such as "The Ice Dragon" and "In The Lost Lands." Have you always wanted to write a fantasy epic before writing "A Game Of Thrones?"

7. About Tortured Artists

Pixabay

There is a problem with creative people who are hurting. This leads to the archetype of the Tortured Artist. Considering how your suffering inspired "This Second Kind Of Loneliness" and "A Song For Lya," what advice would you have for writers who feel cheap and disposable?

8. About Jack Vance

Wikimedia

I found it interesting how the people of the Thousand Islands and the Jogos Nhai plains have this Vancean variety of strangeness compared to Westeros and the rest of Essos. You mentioned how you were paying homages to H. P. Lovecraft but were you also paying homages to Jack Vance as well?

9. About Literary Fiction

Robert Scott III

Your short story "Remembering Melody" comes very close to what can be defined as literary fiction, since it seems to deal more with the fractured relationship between the narrator and Melody than Melody's own supposed existence. Have you wanted to write literary fiction?

10.  About The Struggle To Be A Writer

Robert Scott III

You also helped to create the Worldbuilders scholarship, in order to help aspiring fantasy writers. Are there ways in which to pay for one's education in such programs like Clarion West Writer's Workshop?

Cover Image Credit: Skidmore, Gage. "George R. R. Martin." Flickr. Taken on 11 Nov. 2016. Remixes include cropping image size and adding speech bubble

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10 Photos You Have On Your Camera Roll Of Your S.O. When You've Been Dating For More Than A Year

A wide range from "Aw" to "WTF?"

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My boyfriend and I just hit the year and a half mark of dating, even though it seems like we've been together forever. Over the months, we've taken many pictures together... from football games, to his track meets, to holidays. Although we may have a lot of pictures together, I definitely have a lot of candids of him in my camera roll. If you've been dating your partner for as long as I have or longer, then you'll probably notice you have these same pictures in your photos as well.

1. The awkward first photos together

We laugh at these now, especially this one. Why am I so pale compared to him? It was July! And also, we noticed not to long ago that I was sweating under my arms and his underarms were sweating on me... what a great first time meeting!

2. The ones for VSCO

Every girl who has a significant other posts them onto their VSCO. VSCO is like Instagram, but more has more aesthetically pleasing pictures and there are no "likes." The pictures that include my boyfriend on my VSCO ranges from him holding a bunny to him holding my hand while we went ice skating.

3. Them sleeping

I have so many pictures of my boyfriend sleeping (I promise it's not as weird as it sounds), I just think he's so cute when he's fast asleep while cuddling with me.

4. The embarrassing ones they want no one to see

He's going to kill me when he sees this... but we all have those embarrassing Snapchat pictures that we start to send each other because we've gotten more comfortable with one another.

5. The ones for Facebook

The good looking pictures so you can keep yours and his family updated on how you two are doing. I took my boyfriend to a baby bird meet and greet since he loves birds and has one for a pet. I posted this cute picture of him and his new friends on Facebook so my family can see our adventures together.

6. Old pictures

One of the best parts of dating someone is finally seeing their old pictures. Although, sometimes they may make you cringe... like the one I posted above of my boyfriend after prom in his sophomore year of high school.

7. Their accomplishments

My boyfriend pole vaults for his college and he's really good at it. He just went to division III nationals in March because he qualified! I'm always at his meets so I make sure to get him on video in case he or anyone wants to see. I always try to snag a picture with him too because I'm always so proud.

8. The straight up ugly ones

He sure knows how to make me laugh. And I know he's going to be mad at me for this one too but I think it's a talent that he can do that with his stomach! Sorry, Adam, I promise I still think you look good when you send me these snaps for the most part.

9. But you have the hot ones too

He may be funny and sweet, but he is pretty good looking too. I know us girls keep some attractive pictures of our S.O.'s so we can remind ourselves of what a great looking partner we have.

10. FaceTime screenshots

If you and your lover go to different colleges like my boyfriend and I do, then FaceTiming happens a lot. Sometimes I get some great screenshots, like the one above, to make fun of him later.

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Who Are You Really Writing Your Paper For?

This simple question about visualizing the audience influences how you write your paper

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Normally I do not usually become inspired to spontaneously write anything, however, this is one of those instances where a muse comes to me and slaps me across the face. Basically, this instance involves presenting my final paper for my Shakespeare & His Contemporaries course. The topic of my paper was about how Shakespeare portrayed the outsiders in his plays. Up to the point when I talked about Hamlet identifying himself with Pyrrhus as a hero, my professor had a few words about that particular phrasing. Although it was nothing serious, I was told that Pyrrhus acts more as a villain since he kills Priam, who is the old king of Troy. Although I did not state what I really meant by that use of the word "hero" at that moment, it made me reflect on how I write to a specific audience, in which case I wrote to a professor who knew about the Greek myth of Pyrrhus, whereas I did not.

I started to think about alternative phrases that I could have replaced the word "hero" in order to clarify the context. Clearly, I knew that Hamlet is gory and over-the-top when relating the myth to Polonius, however when I wrote that Pyrrhus was a "hero," I meant a "hero" who fit two contexts: 1. whoever Hamlet considers a hero; 2. a hero in the classical Greek mythological sense, so on par with Odysseus, Theseus, and Heracles. I wrote within the notes of my PowerPoint submission about this and that is what leads me to write this article.

In another graduate course I am taking, which is Teaching Composition, an important term that I learned involves the first-year college students' relationship with their own paper. It is egocentricity. This is NOT egoism, rather egocentricity is formally defined as the tendency to write for oneself, in other words, college students writing a paper only they themselves can understand. This habit becomes a problem when it subverts formal academic language but it also leaves the readers confused since academic language is needed as an agreed-upon vernacular designed to connect the faculty with the students.

In my case, I may have done more than confuse my professor, rather I created a grievous misunderstanding and created the assumption that I thought that a man who slaughters everyone around him, including an old man, would be someone to aspire to (which I obviously do not!). As a result, I was simply told to change the phrasing from "hero" to "man of action." However, the only change I thought needed to be made was specifying what type of "hero" is Pyrrhus, more specifically who Pyrrhus is to--not anyone else--but Hamlet himself. I needed to clarify that this was Hamlet's interpretation of Pyrrhus and not mine. In fact, I barely knew about the Greek mythological figure Pyrrhus except that from his namesake we get the phrase "Pyrrhic victory." Even for my paper, I did not use an unbiased source talking about Pyrrhus--which I asked would be an option.

That suggestion was part of how I tried to mend the image I projected upon everyone in the class. I was not worried about how that case of miscommunication would affect my presentation grade, rather I was more worried about the fact that I might have possibly painted myself in an unflattering way. Even though the main component of my presentation was about how the outsider characters elicit a complex relationship with the audience, who show pity for their marginalities but also abhorrence to the destruction they cause, this experience definitely caused me to reevaluate how I write. A way of doing that is to specify as much as I can in order to be understood.

So even as a graduate student, I continue to have problems with egocentricity. As a result, I have begun to look back at all of the writing assignments that I wrote as part of my college/university educational life and have begun to notice a glaring piece that was missing that I tried to address in the Sample Syllabus assignment for my Teaching Composition course. That problem was this: only writing for a professor or instructor. This reason is why my writing either appeared bland or did not reach the page limit. Not only should there be a WHO but also a WHAT in terms of writing for a reading audience. For example, I should have presented under the supposition that my reading audience might expect the modern context of the word "hero" and not the classical Greek myth context.

I would say that my problem was that I was so fixated on the subject of Shakespearean outsiders that I completely neglected the fact that I was addressing all of this information to a modern audience who might interpret the word "hero" completely differently from how Shakespeare would. If I ever teach a composition course at some university, I would definitely use this experience as an example of what I should expect my students to keep in mind when writing for an audience. I would specifically tell them that even as a graduate student I continued to struggle with it. I especially think that context should be taught, especially in a world where people use the word "literally" when they really mean "figuratively," "really," and "actually."

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