George R R Martin Writes with WordStar 4!

So apparently it’s all the news, The best selling series, Game of Thrones was written using Wordstar 4.  On a dedicated MS-DOS computer of all things.

Game of thrones..

What George probably sees..

Well isn’t that kinda cool.

As he says, he likes Wordstar because it doesn’t try to think for him, and he likes MS-DOS because there is no distractions.

“I actually like it, it does everything I want a word processing program to do and it doesn’t do anything else,” Martin told Conan O’Brien. “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 letter. 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.”

He best says it back in 2007:

I do my writing on a completely different computer than the one I use for email and the internet, in part to guard against viruses, worms, and nightmares like this. My work machine does not even use Windows (which I loathe). I write with WordStar 4.0 on a pure DOS-based machine. Mock if you must… but WordStar and DOS are both stable as rocks, and never give me the sort of headaches I get from Windows. (I won’t even talk about Microsoft Word, about which I have nothing printable to say).

For anyone chasing Wordstar nostalgia, you can leaf through the manual.

8 thoughts on “George R R Martin Writes with WordStar 4!

  1. One good thing with Wordstar-type editors is that there’s no mouse. So from the start you begin to commit the necessary key combinations to automatic memory. You can’t really do that with mouse-operated commands. And Wordstar is uncomplicated and efficient when you have learned it (which btw felt much easier to learn than vi, for me). So there’s nothing to take the writer out of “the flow”. He probably doesn’t even notice the editor while writing.
    For many writers it’s essential to not change the tools that sit between their creativity and the story they write. Thus you will find all kinds of surprisingly old tech among some of them.


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