close menu

George R.R. Martin Asked Stephen King How He Writes So Quickly

Oh, George. Oh George, George, George. Listen: we get it. You’re a busy guy with a lot of things going on. It’s no wonder you’ve found yourself at a bit of a loss for words — literal words, in regards to your behemoth of an opus, A Song of Ice and Fire. So it makes sense you’d go to the prolific wordsmith Stephen King to get an answer that’s clearly plagued you for ages now: how do you write quickly? But I’m here to tell you a secret: there’s no secret to it, you literally just have to sit down and force yourself to do it.

And that’s essentially what King said to George R.R. Martin when he asked him, point blank, “How the f— do you write so many books so fast?” during a Q&A discussion in Albuquerque, New Mexico (via EW). To which King replied that he has a regime: he writes three to four hours a day, hoping to produce about six “fairly clean” pages.

But Mr. Martin was unimpressed, 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 said no, only real-life interferences ever get in the way.

So, basically, Martin, the takeaway is this: just write. Keep writing. Write through the BS garbage you hate and think is terrible, and just keep going until it doesn’t suck. Let your editing hat be your friend and guide through the verbal muck and mire that is the writing process. You just have to force yourself—oftentimes writing isn’t a joy, but a chore; a delightful chore, to be sure, but it’s really, really hard to bring a world to life on a page, otherwise everyone would do it. But you just keep going, then maybe you’ll finish your own story rather than a TV series iteration doing it for you.

We push because we love, George. Nothing more, nothing less.

You can watch the conversation in full above. What was your favorite part of this conversation between two geniuses like this? Let us know in the comments below.

[brightcove video_id=”4964238507001″ brightcove_account_id=”3653334524001″ brightcove_player_id=”2bfa565b-5412-4cfd-9211-6269880b8a5e”]

Image: HBO


Alicia Lutes is the Managing Editor of Nerdist and creator/co-host of Fangirling. Find her on Twitter, if you want.

Report: Lucasfilm Weighs Leia’s STAR WARS EPISODE IX Role

Report: Lucasfilm Weighs Leia’s STAR WARS EPISODE IX Role

video
Here's How to Forge a Post-Apocalyptic Sword from a Monkey Wrench

Here's How to Forge a Post-Apocalyptic Sword from a Monkey Wrench

article
Solve These DARK TOWER Riddles in Honor of the 19th (Exclusive)

Solve These DARK TOWER Riddles in Honor of the 19th (Exclusive)

article