For most writers, the internet provides them with virtually every tool they could ever need to write their respective narrative pieces. Word processors, screenwriting applications, even outlining programs exist (and with features ad infinitum) to make life easier, but Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin takes a much, much, much simpler, old-fashioned approach to completing his work. In fact, it's downright ancient. No, I'm not talking "quill, ink, and a scroll of papyrus" ancient. I'm talking "WordStar 4.0 on a DOS machine" ancient. Though such a word processor may seem obsolete, Martin's reason behind why he uses one is anything but.
Sometimes simplicity is best: that's an approach to writing that Martin takes when he's writing his pieces for Game of Thrones. Though there are so many helpful programs out there with features that allow users to customize, itemize, and organize their ideas to their heart's content (and beyond), a bare bones option can give creatives the opportunity to write unencumbered by options.
When Martin appeared on Conan O'Brien's show recently, he shared with him and the audience that he has two computers: one with an internet connections that gives him the limitless options that provides, and a old school DOS machine with WordStar 4.0 that gives him the privacy and solitude an unconnected existence affords him. (For those who may not know, DOS, which stands for "Disk Operating System," is an operating system that was dominant from 1981 to 1995.)
Check out the video below to hear him talk all about it.
There's nothing wrong with choosing writing programs that give you virtually limitless opportunities to make writing screenplays a less painful experience. However, what we can glean from Martin's process is that, sometimes, less is more.
What do you think about George R.R. Martin's approach to writing? Do you prefer writing with as many customizable options as possible, or do you like the scaled back approach? Let us know in the comments below!