George R.R. Martin Uses An '80s Writing Program And Types With One Finger
At the risk of making a controversial statement, George R.R. Martin is a slow writer. It's been six years since the most recent Song Of Ice And Fire book, A Dance With Dragons, was released, and that came out six years after A Feast For Crows. It's his life, he owes us nothing, and his process obviously creates great books, so we should all shut up about it. But writing like frozen molasses has historically annoyed both his fans and publishers.
Spoiler: Frozen molasses is how they defeat the White Walkers.
Now, the world Martin's crafting is massive, and he has hundreds of moving parts, countless five-page descriptions of meals eaten by quaternary characters, and Daenerys' explosive diarrhea to pack into his narrative. But he's being held up by a more technical problem, too. See if you can spot it!
No, not the haunted bird lamp. Every writer has that.
That's a picture of Martin working with a little program called WordStar. Never heard of it? Why, it was among the hottest software that DOS had to offer! Featuring an eye-numbing interface and absolutely none of the features of any modern word processor, writing a 422,000-word novel in it is like building a new shed entirely out of toothpicks scavenged from restaurants.
Now, before you go calling Martin a Luddite, keep in mind that he has kept updated ... all the way to 1987's WordStar 4.0. He also never had to deal with Windows 8, so maybe we're the real idiots here. Martin says he just hates how modern word processors insist on automatically capitalizing words and underlining every perceived mistake -- which, when half your vocabulary is made-up words like "Essos," "Targaryen," and "Sam," is an understandable annoyance ... and one that could absolutely be turned off in about five seconds.