Game Of Thrones Author George RR Martin Uses WordStar

Game Of Thrones Author George RR Martin Uses WordStar

Fancy formatting requires a modern word processor, but if you’re just trying to get the words out, a simpler tool will do. Game Of Thrones author George RR Martin takes the policy to extremes: he’s still using a copy of WordStar running on DOS.

Martin mentioned his WordStar preference during an interview with US talk show host Conan O’Brien. Here’s his explanation:

I have my writing computer which is a DOS machine not connected to the Internet . . . I use WordStar 4.0 as my word processor. I actually like it. It does everything I want a word processing program to do, and it doesn’t do anything else. I don’t want any help. I hate some of these modern systems where you type a lower-case letter and it becomes a capital. I don’t want a capital; if I wanted a capital, I would have typed a capital. I know how to work the shift key.

WordStar is indeed a capable program — it was what I used in my first job as a professional journalist. I’m quite content with Word these days, but I can think of much worst fates than reverting back to WordStar (Pages, for example).

If you don’t have a copy of WordStar lying around, check out our guide to other writing software. And for more writing ideas, check out Martin’s top 10 writing tips.

[via Business Insider]


  • No wonder he’s taking so long to write the next book!
    He’s probably getting up in the morning, turning on the computer, going out for breakfast, coming home, waiting a few more minutes for the computer to finish booting, then inserting the floppy and opening Wordstar, going off to have lunch while it loads, then coming home, ejecting the Wordstar Floppy, and inserting the working document floppy and opening the 1mb file that is the next book, then going out for Afternoon Tea, coming home to find the document almost loaded, typing a few sentences then it’s dinner time, so saving the changes, coming back at 7pm just as the save is about to complete to shut down the machine!

  • As a writer, this makes perfect sense, Neal Stephenson, the nerd god of tech fiction uses a simple linux text editor when he writes.
    The reason is simple, as a writer, you don’t hand in a formatted, pretty, finished product. You hand in a big-arse block of text.
    Formatting tools, the internet and other frills do little but distract you from writing.
    By effectively usung a typewriter that has great error correcting capability, you can concentrate on the writing, not on dicking around with the computer.

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