Sunday, April 29, 2012

Me, Neil and Steve

Over on his blog, Neil Gaiman has just posted an interview of Stephen King that Gaiman wrote for the Sunday Times Magazine. Now, I've been a King fan for almost three times as long as I've been a Gaiman fan, so I was fascinated to see how they'd interact with one another. It turned out that my favorite part was the "two writers talking about their craft" section, and my favorite part of that section was the bit I'm quoting below.

Now, I don't for a second think I'm as talented as either of these writers (well, except in my fantasies), but I can relate to the experience they talk about here, of finding what you need for a story just at your fingertips, just at the right time. It happened to me last night as I was working out the next scene of my upcoming story. Completely out of the blue (I'm giggling as I write that, but you don't know why...yet) I realized that something I'd already written fit perfectly with something I was about to write. I hadn't even planed on connecting those two bits, but they clicked together as neatly as a couple of puzzle pieces. I love it when that happens.

So anyway, the quote below is as much of a tease for my next story as it is an advertisement for the Gaiman/King interview. But the interview is a treat either way.
I told him about the peculiarity of researching the story I was working on, that everything I needed, fictionally, was waiting for me when I went looking for it. He nods in agreement.

“Absolutely – you reach out and it's there. The time that it happened the clearest was when Ralph, my agent then, said to me 'This is a bit crazy, but do you have any kind of idea for something that could be a serialised novel like Dickens used to do?', and I had a story that was sort of struggling for air. That was The Green Mile.And I knew if I did this I had to lock myself into it. I started writing it and I stayed ahead of the publication schedule pretty comfortably. Because...” he hesitates, tries to explain in a way that doesn't sound foolish, “...every time I needed something that something was right there to hand.

“When John Coffey goes to jail – he was going to be executed for murdering the two girls. I knew that he didn’t do it , but I didn’t know that the guy who did do it was going to be there, didn’t know anything about how it happened, but when I wrote it, it was all just there for me. You just take it. Everything just fits together like it existed before.

No comments: