Game of Thrones author George RR Martin asked Stephen King how he writes new books so quickly

Fans are still on tenterhooks for sixth Game of Thrones book The Winds of Winter

Jess Denham
Tuesday 05 July 2016 09:33
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Game of Thrones author George RR Martin has a reputation for keeping fans waiting for new books
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin has a reputation for keeping fans waiting for new books

Game of Thrones season five has been and gone but fans remain hanging on the edge of their seats for George RR Martin’s next book, The Winds of Winter. Or, rather, it’s been so long now that they’ve probably settled in comfily for the long haul.

There have been sneak peeks at new chapters and promises of no more fan conventions until its finished but five years have passed since 2011’s A Dance with Dragons and still, nothing.

Martin knows he’s a slow writer, so decided it was high time to learn some tips from his more rapid of pen pals, Stephen King. Both bestselling authors are in their late sixties, yet King is notoriously prolific, having published 54 novels and some 200 short stories.

Martin and King met at the Kiva Auditorium in Albuquerque, New Mexico last month for a DMC about everything from gun control to their current projects, with the video of their appearance recently emerging online.


Towards the end of their chat, Martin asked King: “How the f**k 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.”

King revealed that he spends three or four hours writing every day and aims to end up with six “fairly clean” pages. “So if the manuscript is, say, 360 pages long, that’s basically two months’ work - but that’s assuming it goes well,” he said.

Martin, who has been open about his struggles with writer’s block, was in disbelief. “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?” he asked, incredulous. “Don’t you have days like that?”

King said no, but did share Martin’s gripe at hungry fans constantly demanding the next novel. “People yell at you and say, ‘We want the next book, we want the next book, we want the next book right away!’ They’re like babies,” he said.

Rumours have been circulating that The Winds of Winter will be published before season seven of Game of Thrones airs next April, but fans heard the same thing last year so alas, the waiting game continues.

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