The series finale of Game of Thrones was this past weekend, and if you have been anywhere than under a rock, you have heard about the series. Because people LOVE to analyze and share their thoughts on the story. Which is why there are a lot of writing takeaways from Game of Thrones we can use as writers.
Even if you aren’t interested in becoming an international, best-selling author like George R.R. Martin, or don’t care about the fantasy genre, you can learn some serious writing tips that will improve your story immensely. And help you resonate better with your readers. Check them out!
The Best Writing Takeaways from Game of Thrones:
It has been over a two-decades since the first Game of Thrones book hit the shelves. And over a decade since HBO purchased the story to become its now hit TV show. But this series is STILL popular even all these years later.
What makes this story so great and what can everyday writers learn from this popular series?
1. Your Writing will NOT Please Everyone.
One of the favorite topics of conversation about the series finale was everyone’s opinion on how well it was done. Some people loved how the series tied everything up, while others vehemently wished things would go differently–and those were sometimes the louder ones.
This phenomenon is not exclusive to the Game of Thrones series. Whenever anything is coming to its conclusion, people will have an opinion.
- They think it should go differently.
- They have their OWN vision for what the story looks like.
- They struggle with the idea of things ending so much that they would rather criticize it than let it go.
- They set VERY high expectations–even, perhaps, unrealistic ones–and end up disappointing themselves.
Although, I think that the series ending was done the exact way it should be–except maybe with Bran–it has been interesting to talk with non-writers and get their feedback. We even use writing terms, which never happens in normal everyday life!
But it doesn’t matter that these are skilled scriptwriters, or that George R.R. Martin told them how he would end the series, people will always have their own opinions. Which is the first of the writing takeaways from Game of Thrones: Write the story your way and let people think what they want. You will never be able to please them all.
2. Your Main Focus Should be on Character Development.
One of the main reasons people feel so vested in the show is because we’ve been watching and cheering for these characters for EIGHT seasons. That’s sometimes longer than you’ve known some of your best friends!
These characters feel real. Their problems and stories feel REAL to the readers and the viewers. Which is the best compliment a writer can receive for their work–having people genuinely vested over whether your imaginary character lives or dies.
This is done through knowing EVERYTHING about your character–by knowing them on a deeper level. (Something we talked about in creating strong characters for your novels.) And it’s also the best way to bring your stories to life and have them travel with the readers.
So the second of the writing takeaways from Game of Thrones is to create authentic storylines for all of your characters.
3. Write with so much Authenticity that Your Readers are Invested.
After you build strong characters, you need to tell their full story.
Sometimes we get so worried about becoming published or just finishing the book, that we forget to ENJOY telling the story. But when we read books, it’s the stories that pull us into their world that really stick with us.
And that’s what we should focus on as writers: creating worlds that people never want to leave from. The kind of story a kid brings to the kitchen table for dinner, tucks into the pew at church, and will read late into the night–bedtime or not.
When you focus on writing a good book, the publishing step will be sure to follow. Because people can sense your passion when they read your story. Watch this video to help you if you struggle with enjoying the writing process.
Remember these three writing takeaways from Game of Thrones when you’re writing this week: Don’t worry about pleasing everyone with your writing, focus on creating characters that feel real not just two-dimensional, and tell an authentic story without worrying about publishing it.
Game of Thrones may be over, but there are still MANY other amazing stories out there for readers and viewers to fall in love with. And YOUR story will be among them if you follow these steps.
Read these other articles around the blog to help improve your writing:
- 4 Steps to Write More with Less Time
- Top Advice: Don’t Tell Anyone Your Big Story Ideas
- 5 Reasons to Write the Book You Want, Not What’s Popular
- The Best Plotting Exercises for Your Novel