Neil Gaiman, My Hero

As i’ve said, I very much admire the writing style of Neil Gaiman, and for all of those fiction writers out there (and these days I seem to know a few), I direct you to his essays, All Books Have Genders and Where do you get your ideas?.

A sample quote from the second essay:

In the beginning, I used to tell people the not very funny answers, the flip ones: ‘From the Idea-of-the-Month Club,’ I’d say, or ‘From a little ideas shop in Bognor Regis,’ ‘From a dusty old book full of ideas in my basement,’ or even ‘From Pete Atkins.’ (The last is slightly esoteric, and may need a little explanation. Pete Atkins is a screenwriter and novelist friend of mine, and we decided a while ago that when asked, I would say that I got them from him, and he’d say he got them from me. It seemed to make sense at the time.)

Then I got tired of the not very funny answers, and these days I tell people the truth:

‘I make them up,’ I tell them. ‘Out of my head.’

People don’t like this answer. I don’t know why not. They look unhappy, as if I’m trying to slip a fast one past them. As if there’s a huge secret, and, for reasons of my own, I’m not telling them how it’s done.

Oh, and also through Mr. Gaiman’s essays, I discovered the name for the type of fantasy I’m trying to aim for: phantasmagoria. Come on, the word even sounds cool.


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