A Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin is notoriously for his glacial writing pace. Last week in Albuquerque, New Mexico Martin sat down with his polar opposite in that regard, the prolific horror legend Stephen King and asked him “How the f— do you write so many books so fast?”
“I think, ‘Oh, I’ve had a really good six months – I’ve written three chapters!’ and you’ve finished three books in that time,” Martin joked.
King offered a legitimate answer. “Here’s the thing: There are books and there are books,” he offered, saying that he writes for three to four hours a day with the goal of writing six pages. “So if the manuscript is, say, 360 pages long, that’s basically two months’ work – but that’s assuming it goes well.”
Martin was somewhat baffled, asking, “You don’t ever have a day when you sit down there and it’s like constipation – you write a sentence and you hate the sentence, and you check your email and you wonder if you had any talent after all and maybe you should have been a plumber? Don’t you have days like that?”
King told Martin that he doesn’t have those days, but that he does understand the pressure Martin must be feeling over A Song of Ice and Fire. “People yell at you and say: ‘We want the next book, we want the next book right away’,” King said. “They’re like babies.”
Martin is currently working on The Winds of Winter, the penultimate book in his A Song of Ice and Fire series, the basis for HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones. The Season 6 finale of Game of Thrones is also titled “The Winds of Winter” and airs this Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.