Towards the end of November, a very interesting post on /r/asoiaf Reddit from a moderator and superfan known as zionius_, revealing three pages that appear to be hand-written notes from George R.R. Martin sketching out plans for A Feast for Crows circa 2003-2004. George’s handwriting is not, perhaps, the easiest, so go to the original post for the transcription from zionius_ and members of the subreddit’s mod team, which does a good job of distilling what they found.
Though some questioned whether these were legitimate, we can say with 100% certainty that they are—George’s hand is unmistakable, and in any case the notes came from be shared by way of Arnold Cha, a serious ASoIaF collector who indicated that he got them from an unimpeachable source in the Santa Fe writing/arts scene. With Arnold’s permission, we’re including the images here, but again, go to the subreddit thread for the transcript!
The first two pages of notes were from late 2003, while the final page—which according to zionius_ comes from a different section of the same notebook—is probably from early 2004. Also, it’s worth noting that at this point in time, George had not yet split A Feast for Crows, so some of the notes relate to material that was pushed to A Dance with Dragons. Last, but not least… there are probably spoilers here about some of George’s future intentions. Although, then again, George’s “gardening” approach does mean that even if at one point he had some particular plan, that could change in the course of writing.
As we ourselves have said, we have George’s partial draft of A Feast for Crows from January 2004, and others have seen it as well in the George R.R. Martin collection held at the Texas A&M Cushing Memorial Library and Archives. It’s interesting to see how some ideas diverged even within a few months, from ~October to what he did in January.