Writing Advice from the Creators of Game of Thrones

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Adapting is hard. And sometimes, adapting someone else’s work is even harder than writing completely new material! In order to stay true to the original work’s spirit, treat it like it’s your baby. Love it. Feed it. Play with it . .. find a woman to take care of it when you’re busy just bro-ing out! If you do this, then the work will adapt itself for television.

When you finish writing, great! There is no need to do anything else. Just email it to HBO, and they’ll reply with a drawing of a dog sitting in a room with a mug on the table and the room is on fire and the dog says, “This is fine.”

Characters don’t change on television the way they do in books. When you’re writing for a recurring series, your characters shouldn’t grow, change, or have an arc. For example, if Jaime Lannister goes on a life-changing journey after losing his hand that forces him to reflect on his life from a whole new perspective and seriously makes him reconsider his past, he still falls back to incest. Jaime Lannister cannot change because those are the rules and also people love incest.

Give characters goals and motivations. Make them want things! This should keep them moving, kind of like how Jon Snow wants to protect Westeros from the White Walkers so desperately that he travels the entire continent in one episode, even though it took Arya and the Hound an entire season to travel to the Vale from the Riverlands!

When you have a character who is a woman in the same scene as a character who is a man, the only way for the scene to occur is if the character who is a man rapes the character who is a woman.

Say you have a character who needs to acquire hundreds of boats in a short period of time. Unfortunately, there’s a problem: your previous writing has clearly indicated that in this world, it takes at least a decade to build just one boat! So what do you do? Ummm, you pretend that Euron Greyjoy made all of the boats in between seasons. After more than a year, no dipshit in the audience will notice that the character built hundreds of boats in a few days, even though it is supposed to take a decade to build one boat in this particular world. A decade, if you didn’t know, is ten years. Ten is five plus five, and a year is 365 days.

During long scenes of expositional dialogue, which you know we highly recommend if you’ve been paying attention, please remember to put T&A somewhere in the scene so the audience doesn’t get bored. The audience is stupid, and they will only look at T&A. T&A is an industry term for tits and ass.

Struggling to write an essential scene that shows important information for the story? Stop what you’re doing, and just give a line of dialogue to Cersei where she tells Jaime she’s made plans with Euron Greyjoy privately, instead of just writing that scene. This way, the writing is easy instead of hard. Explaining things to your audience through dialogue is so much easier than showing things to your audience.

Lannister armies come from everywhere at all times. You don’t need to explain where they come from, how many there are, or how they march so fast. It is what it is, guys! End of advice.

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