The first, on friday night, was discussing POV's. It was intending to be a panel on managing multiple POV's but it became more of a discussion of character building and how the writer relates to his characters. Nothing we haven't really heard before. Still its a priviladge to hear a writer of George's calibre talk about aspects of his art at length. The panel was well moderated and there were a couple of other pros on it, though not names I knew that also had quite a bit interesting to contribute. Couple of highlights from GRRM's comments: 1. He strongly prefers limited 3rd person point of view as compared with first person or omnicient 3rd person. Probably obvious to any read of ASoIaF. Still, this is a artistic preference that he strongly feels and not just something that he finds works well in his current project. 2. He tends to write from a single POV a couple chapters at a time to stay with the same voice. Switch POV's can cost him a couple of days of writing to be able to get back into the voice of the person who's viewpoint he is writing from. He goes back and rereads the last couple of chapter's he's written from that POV to help him. 3. Writing the the kids is the hardest. Not new information. He clarrified why that is though. He finds he has to check every sentences to make sure its something a child would think or so and to check every word to make sure it is one a child would know. Because he doesn't have children nor has many children in his life he doesn't have a model to work from expect his own childhood which makes it far more a stretch.
The second panel, on Saturday morning, was on writing for TV compared with writing novels. While there were other panelists most of it became George and the moderator (Jim Frenkel, senior editor for Tor) sharing stories and complaining about the the world of TV from the writer's perspective. Its lucritive but apparently a real pain in the arse.
A couple of notes, though nothing big from the Q&A seccion following the reading: 1. He's hoping to have ADwD done by June. He seemed reasonably confident that this could be done. He said though, that if he can't get it done but sometime that month that it would be delayed quite a bit more. He has a busy summer coming up after that which will not allow him time to work. So if its done by June, we should see the book by christmas if not earlier. If not then its going to be a while. 2. He still really thinks he can get it done in 7 total books though there did seem to be a bit more doubt on that lingering behind his words. That was my impression though, not anything that George actually said. He is commited to the 7 book idea at the moment. 3. The HBO show is still in limbo. Which we already knew.
That was about it for noteworthy material. Any panel George is on though is enjoyable and worth attending.