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.