Gaiman on Gaiman

Here’s the mighty Neil Gaiman:

Everything should feel right; nothing should ever feel strained or forced. In Anansi Boys, I was chugging along writing my book. Then I got to this point in the middle where suddenly I’m looking at one character who’s in a lift, and I’m thinking, “If you go up, if you keep doing what I think you’re going to do, then in two pages’ time, you will get killed. And I’m not sure what that does to the book that I plotted.” The thing that I thought I was writing certainly didn’t have a murder in the middle. I wrote the next two pages, the murder happened, and I stopped writing the book for four months. I wanted to compost it. I tried to figure out what I was doing, and eventually I decided that I could still keep it a comedy. It was sort of figuring out that weird line between horror and comedy. I came to the conclusion that in comedy, everybody gets what they need, whereas in horror, everybody gets what they deserve. I decided that at the end of the day, I was going to give everybody what they needed.

There’s more at The Onion’s AV Club. It’s a long, expansive interview in which Gaiman discusses his new novel, the movie (Mirrormask) he wrote for Dave McKean (also interviewed), the future of Sandman, his kids, and blogging before it became cool.

(Via Bookslut)

About Walter Biggins

Walter Biggins is a writer based in Atlanta, GA. He is the co-author (with Daniel Couch) of Bob Mould's Workbook (Bloomsbury, 2017). His work has been published in The Quarterly Conversation,, Bookslut (RIP), The Comics Journal, The Baseball Chronicle, and other periodicals. Twitter: @walter_biggins.
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2 Responses to Gaiman on Gaiman

  1. winter says:

    As a writer, doesn’t reading literary criticism — or other writers talking about writing — sometimes make you feel like you’re drowning?
    That’s the best way I can describe it. I don’t know if it’s inferiority or frustration or simply overanalyzing, but that’s the way that I feel when reading stuff like this.

  2. QB says:

    Sometimes, it depresses me, in the sense that I’m reading about a writer who’s obviously more prolific and more financially successful than I am. Honestly, I link to more interviews than I read in their entirety, precisely because I’m prone to the drowning sensation. Sometimes, though, I get a charge from it–we’re all in the same boat, that sense of there being a writer going through the same slog that I do, no matter how successful s/he is. I like that fact, for instance, that Gaiman mentions how much he loves having written something, or the state of being about to start something, but that writing itself is often painful and hard and not much fun. You wouldn’t know it from his output, so it’s nice to know he’s mortal after all.

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