03 May 2009

What Neil Said

So as a long time stalker* of Neil Gaiman, I arranged my life so I could see him at BOTH of his New York City events this week. He was in town for two PEN events, one on children's writing, and one on comics (which strayed rather to his writing as a whole). Neil is always gracious and funny and usually manages to say something new each time I hear him speak (aside from what I'm about to post, these times I learned how he feels children read in an unmediated way, that he cannot 'take holiday' because he just writes and he confirmed something I'd always believed about his writing career, but blamed it on his Duran Duran book, when I had figured the BBC as the culprit).

Someone at the comics panel asked if there was any particular process Neil used to create his characters, particularly his villains. Well, I pricked my ears because Neil's bad guys are legendary, and my WIP is in desperate need of my "boss" villain (in video game parlance).

Neil's response (and I am paraphrasing here) was that he always made sure that all of his characters were "people you'd want to spend time with at a cocktail party, even if it was just watching and saying 'oh my god, I can't believe he just did that!'" And then he told the anecdote of the first book he'd never finished, written by a popular and very good writer (who he refused to name). He'd gotten about halfway through the novel and realized he'd never want to know any of the characters socially, and put down the book.

So would I spend any time with the characters in my current WIP? As a matter of fact I would. And I'm deathly afraid of cocktail parties.


*How do you know if someone's a Neil Gaiman stalker? Well Neil's fans are dreadfully nice, so they'll probably just tell you.

1 Comments:

At 9:28 PM, Blogger Marirosa Mia said...

Oh! I missed Neil again!?!?! drat.

 

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