George and Chuck were in town for the Clarion Writer's Workshop so I got to attend both of their readings.
George R.R. Martin read excerpts from his sixth book in the Game of Thrones series. It involved Tyrion, a boat, and some sex. The way George reads his book, he sounds like one of his own characters. He's a very blunt and funny guy. He has some hardcore fans too--a couple girls brought him dragon egg brooches that they made for him. He said that having a book become popular is a real crapshoot--some great books never become popular, and some bad books do. Well, his books are good!
Chuck Palahniuk started his reading by unloading boxes of fifty plush tigers, all to hand out. He says every scene needs a clock and his will be stuffed tigers--the reading won't be done until they are all gone. He read us Romance (super funny!) and Knock Knock. He is probably the best reader I've ever heard. He threw out tigers to the audience as they asked questions. At the end, he had us make a baby-shape out of balloons to win a tiger. Lots of balloon popping and balloon squeaking. It was super fun and I'm really inspired by him. For his writing he says he believes in repetition of themes in a story, to have life and death in a story, and minimalism. Also, he's been in a writer's group for twenty years and that it's important to read your book outloud.
I hope you make it to their readings someday--totally worth it!