George R.R. Martin has posted a new entry to his Not a Blog, titled “Back in Westeros”, which discusses the self-imposed isolation he’s been in for much of the year. In a mountain cabin somewhere in the mountains of New Mexico, George has been making progress on The Winds of Winter, and reflects on how the periods in his career where he’s been the most isolated have also been among his most productive.
Towards the end, he gets a little more specific about what he has been working on lately in terms of point of view characters, and one of the one he names is a bit of new information as their presence as a POV had not been confirmed until now.
(No, this is not actually his cabin!)
To quote George:
For the nonce, it is what it is. My life is at home, on hold, and I am spending the days in Westeros with my pals Mel and Sam and Vic and Ty. And that girl with no name, over there in Braavos.
The characters he lists, of course, are Melisandre, Samwell (the one who he had not named as a POV in TWoW previously), Victarion, Tyrion, and Arya. This suggests that these characters represent some of the latest batch of chapters he’s been working on. For those who are not familar with George’s writing process, he has remarked that sometimes he’ll write several chapters of a POV before finding himself needing a change and switching to another, but at other times he’s also bouncing around revising and polishing several different chapters concurrently. So one can’t make too many assumptions regarding what he’s focused on. That said, they do break up into four distinct geographical areas in which different narratives are taking place: Castle Black/the Wall, Oldtown, Slaver’s Bay, and Braavos.