This video is a creative oxymoron. Two writers known for their furious pace of work, George RR Martin of Game of Thrones and Stephen King of all the books you're too frightened to read actually chat at leisure. We didn't know they could stay away from their computers for such a long period of time and still be so relaxed.
Listen to the whole thing, of course, but start at 50:10, a particularly lighthearted moment when Martin chuckles for a few seconds before asking: "How the fuck do you write so many books so fast?"
The audience cheers. King looks amused.
Martin goes on, “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 explains, “Here’s the thing okay, there are books and there are books.” He says he sits down to write every day, and tries to get about six pages done. “So if the manuscript is, say, 360 pages long, that’s basically two months’ work". He does add, though, "But that’s assuming it goes well. “
Martin pushes further. “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?”
'No,' answers King. As simple as that.
But he acknowledges the pressures that writers like Martin and he face. “People yell at you and say, 'We want the next book, we want the next book right away.'"
By way of contrast, here's what happens when bestselling writers in India get together for a chat.