Everyone loves to bash A Song of Ice and Fire author George R. R. Martin for being a slow writer, but how fast does the brains behind Game of Thrones actually write?
During an interview with BBC Radio, Martin gives a glimpse into his writing habits. “I don’t do it that rigidly,” Martin admits about his writing process. “I go over in the morning and sit down, I usually reread what I’ve done the day before to try to build up a little momentum. Sometimes if what I wrote the day before is not very good I spend the whole day rewriting what I did the day before. But hopefully I just rewrite a little and I’m sort of in the groove and then I go on and I write another scene or two.”
“There are good days where I just kind of fall through the computer screen and I look up and I’ve written five or six pages, that’s a great day,” Martin says. “But those days don’t come very often, I wish they came more often. A lot of days it’s kind of struggling, you know?”
So if a “great day” for Martin is 5 or 6 pages, which he admits doesn’t happen often, we could guess that an average day is, say, 2.5 pages. For a manuscript that’s expected to be around 1,500 pages like The Winds of Winter, writing 2.5 pages a day would take Martin 600 days to complete if he wrote every day. He’s presumably been working on the book for three years now, though obviously he doesn’t write every day, but at his current pace maybe it won’t be so much longer until we have the next book after all.