Stamps, Fire and Ice

Posted by Unrepentant Escapist

May 21, 2009 -- 12:28 a.m.

Neil Gaimon had an interesting writing assignment. He wrote the stories for stamps for the British mail. Wonder how you go about writing those?

I love him for writing the words "George R.R. Martin is not your bitch."

As a reader, I know the frustration of waiting for books. That's why I usually avoid starting a B.A.F.S. that isn't done yet. Is that hypocritical of me, wanting readers to buy my stuff while not wanting to take the risk myself? Probably. Eh, what can you do. People are complex.

But I was always amazed about the amount of vitriol you'd sometimes see on message boards. I remember one reader talking about how much he wished Robert Jordan, master of the Wheel of Time, would die so some other author would pick up the series and actually move the work along. If someone said that publicly, the private correspondence he got must be poisonous.

I wonder if he felt guilty when Jordan did die.

The fact is, writers do the best they can. I'll slave on my B.A.F.S. until I die, but I'm a member of the MTV generation and my attention's bound to wander. If I want to take a break to write a Conan novel, I'd wish my readers could be grateful for the hours of entertainment I'd given them and wait with scarcely concealed impatience to strip the next book from the shelves.

I love books, I love writing, but writing's not like building a house. Or, if it is, would you want your contractor to be distracted? Maybe nail the toilet to the ceiling because he/she wanted to get the job done faster?

Speaking of fast, I'm totally going to be one of those novelists who can churn out one every two months. I type an average of 3,000-8,000 words a day. Godsplay's two and a half chapters away from being finished (now weighing in at a cool 109,000 words) and it's an even dice roll whether I can get it done before CONduit this weekend.

Of course, there's still revision. And finding an agent. And finding a publisher. Maybe writing the thing was the easy part.


  1. Luisa Perkins said...

    Hee hee, Neil Gaiman makes me laugh.

    Trust me: writing the thing *is* the easy part.

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