I don’t know if this has ever come up before, but I’m a fan of the HBO show, Game of Thrones. I’m well aware that it’s based upon a series of books by George R. R. Martin and I’ve just recently started reading the first books in the series. A few people I know have already read the books and are being very good about not spoiling things for me. (Although certain people do like to threaten me with spoilers when I’m being a smartass… 😉 )
After certain shocking events in this most recent season of the show, I came to love the show even more and it spurred me into reading the books – if only so I could find out what happens next instead of waiting for the show! I love being surprised by books and shows and movies. It happens so rarely now. And I don’t mean being surprised by the grandiose shots or action sequences or the wording of a scene in a book. I mean, being genuinely surprised by a plot twist that I absolutely did not see coming.
So many movies today aren’t even original. They’re remakes or adaptations of something else. TV shows are the same. Formulaic reruns of the same thing that’s been done a dozen times before. And books. Well, books and the stories in them can only be told so many different ways. As a romance writer, I know that very well. Still, the books are enjoyable, and so are the movies and the shows, because the journey through those same old storylines are what’s different.
But every once in a while, something comes along that shocks and thrills and surprises the pants off you! Game of Thrones (or as the series of books is called, A Song of Ice and Fire) is a perfect example of that.
So how so I get through reading so many different books of the same thing? Or watching the movies and shows? Hell, how do I get through writing something that most would consider the same story with different names and places inserted? I like to think I put a different, unique spin on each story, but let’s face it. It’s still boy-meets-girl, girl-or-boy-almost-loses-the-other, boy-and-girl-make-up-and-live-happily-ever-after. Lately though, I’ve been branching out and trying different things. I’ve started a new story in another new genre for me, and I have the feeling that it could go any number of ways in the end. I know where it’s going to go, but as readers, I’m hoping you’ll have any number of suspicions about it and that in the end you might be – pleasantly – surprised!
It is difficult trying to make the same story sound fresh every time it’s written. That’s one of the things I’ve been enjoying about Game of Thrones. So far, Martin has thrown every expectation out the window. I love it! I love not knowing who’s going to make it in the end (no matter how attached I am to certain imps and bastards), or which villains might survive by their cunning and trickery, in spite of me wanting to see their heads on a spike. 🙂 Yes, I’m cutthroat. It’s wonderful reading something so unique and not knowing how it may end. I’m only on the first book, and we’ve just finished the third season of the show, and from all accounts about the series, the author is still working on it. It may never end, from some perspectives.
There are very few other series or books I’ve read that follow the same surprising patterns. I enjoy Christopher Moore’s books but even he follows the same general formula – his own unique formula, granted – but it’s different from anything else out there, that’s for sure. One other series that comes to mind is the Fallen Angels by J.R. Ward. They’re an interesting mix of romance and the supernatural and I never know how each book is going to end, never mind how she’s going to wrap up the entire series.
As a writer, I do my best to write interesting and fresh stories. Sometimes that means rehashing something for my “Ice” series and late, it means writing something way outside the box for me. I hope you’ll continue to read what I write and let me know if you read something or see something that makes you say, “Holy crap! I did NOT see that coming!”
Take care and happy reading.