Game of Thrones creator and author George R. R. Martin discusses his creative process in an wide-ranging interview with the Sydney Morning Herald. One of our favorite insights? The two kinds of writers:

There are architects and gardeners. The architects do blueprints before they drive the first nail, they design the entire house, where the pipes are running, and how many rooms there are going to be, how high the roof will be. But the gardeners just dig a hole and plant the seed and see what comes up. I think all writers are partly architects and partly gardeners, but they tend to one side or another, and I am definitely more of a gardener. In my Hollywood years when everything does work on outlines, I had to put on my architect’s clothes and pretend to be an architect. But my natural inclinations, the way I work, is to give my characters the head and to follow them.

The “architects and gardeners” dynamic can seemingly be extended to many other aspects of our creative lives as well. Read the entire interview here.



  • Aaron

    Hey, way to insult gardeners who, I happen to know, are meticulous in their designs. Evidently, Martin sat inside dreaming up gratuitous horror and violence while the real artists were outside planning and executing a garden. Either that, or he lives in a landfill.

    • dp

      m e t a p h o r

  • Alecia

    This is much more commonly referred to as “Plotters” and “Pantsers” in the writing community. As in those who work out the entire plot before writing (his architects) and those who write by the seat of their pants (pantsers – his gardeners). It is not an insult to either method, it is just variances in the way people work and organize their thoughts.

blog comments powered by Disqus