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Friday, October 12, 2007

Re: Your Brains

I'm in Chapter Five of ODD.... I think this is good, although I have just realised I have no idea what happens next and that the plot I thought I was writing isn't the plot at all, and that everything's different.

This wouldn't be a problem, but the book is meant to be handed in on Monday. Argh.

The essay on fairytales I wrote for the Guardian is now up, at http://books.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,,2189656,00.html. It was meant to be 2000 words, but somewhere in there I crept up to 2,200.

The Guardian editorial folk did a mostly terrific job of editing me down -- although towards the end, I sighed when I saw that what I'd written, which was originally,


Still, the people who wanted fairy tales found it and some of them knew
what it was and liked it for being exactly that, and one of those people was
film-maker Matthew Vaughn.


I tend to be extremely protective when it comes to adaptations of my
work, but after talking to Matthew and to his collaborator, screenwriter Jane
Goldman, I felt safe. I enjoyed their screenplay and I really like the film they
made – which takes liberties with the plot all over the place, compressing,
expanding, changing, simplifying and complicating, all in the space of two
hours. (I know I didn’t write a pirate captain performing a can-can in drag, for
a start...)

But I think the reason I liked what Matthew and Jane did so
much is that they had treated what I had made as a fairy tale. Not as a novel,
to adapt or to ignore, but as a tale that they loved, to retell. A star still
falls, a boy still promises to bring it to his true love, there are still wicked
witches and ghosts and lords (although the lords have now become Princes). They even gave it an unabashedly happy ending, which is something people tend to do
when they retell fairytales.

had become,


Still, the people who wanted fairytales found the book, and some of
them knew what it was, and liked it for being exactly that. One of those people
was film-maker Matthew Vaughn. I tend to be extremely protective when it comes to adaptations of my work, but I enjoyed the screenplay and I really like the film they made - which takes liberties with the plot all over the place. (I know I didn't write a pirate captain performing a can-can in drag, for a start ...)


A star still falls, a boy still promises to bring it to his true love, there are still wicked witches and ghosts and lords (although the lords have now become princes.) They even gave the story an unabashedly happy ending, which is something people tend to do when they retell fairytales.

mostly because Jane Goldman is edited out. And she did a sterling job.

So here's a photograph of Jane being menaced on the Stardust set by a wet and ghostly Septimus (Mark Strong), by way of a small apologetic sigh.


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