Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Bet you thought I was dead

The best thing about going off and writing, and not having a phone or internets and things, just a tiny rented cottage, pen and paper and stories in your head, is that everything gets sort of simple and I remember why I do this writing thing and why I love it.

When I got stuck, I'd change notebooks and write an introduction or something similar that someone was waiting for. Then I'd go back to the story. I never turned on the computer, except once to check a detail.

Oddly enough the story that seemed the lesser of the two (most of the chapters of The Graveyard Book are also stories), which is called "The Friend" was easy and comfortable to write, while the one I was excited about, "The Hounds of God" (which I may retitle either "Miss Lupescu" or "The Ghoul Gate" on the next draft, or I may not) was sort of odd and lumpy and is going to need a lot of repainting and moving of heavy furniture when it gets typed up. Still, it has some really good bits in, and I love the ghouls, particularly the Bishop of Bath and Wells and the Duke of Westminster.

I'm on page 98 of the book, and including "The Witch's Headstone" I think I'm actually half way through the book right now. Although some of the final chapter-stories are going to be long ones.
I'm writing a poem that runs through the next chapter, a P.L. Travers-like fantasia called "Danse Macabre", which I think is going to be chapter 5, after the already-written "The Witch's Headstone". Then I'm not sure. Then it's a chapter called "Every Man Jack". Then the last chapter, probably.

Probably more than you really wanted to know, but I'm an author who's been writing a book, and mostly it's what my head is filled with, and it's interesting if you're me.

(Most of the spare bits of head are filled with something that may eventually be called Lyonnesse.)

The worst thing about going off to write for a bit is returning to civilisation and finding several thousand emails needing to be read, work mail, personal mail, Blog FAQ mail.... I'm not sure I'll ever catch up.

Thanks so much to the webelf for having fun and posting links in my absence. It looks like she enjoyed herself, and she put stuff up I probably wouldn't have thought of, so that was good, and I am grateful. (I'm still trying to figure out where she got the Holly picture from, mind you.) Amused that she found, and hustled for votes for the blog awards (even more amused when I discovered that I was also nominated as Hottest Daddy Blogger [?]).

I think I've solved a mystery no one even knew was mysterious. The web elf is your wife, isn't she? Don't forget my no-prize if I'm right!

I think only Marvel can give out no-prizes. But no, you are wrong. The web elf is the web elf. I think she looks like Dave Sim's Regency Elf, only more webby, but I could be wrong, and often am.

Hello,I would like to ask you if you are planning to write comic-book series like "Sandman"?Regards - PaweĊ‚ Deptuch, POLAND

No, I already did that.

Right now I don't think I'll ever do another 2000 page comic story, but as I said, I've been wrong before...


I'm trying to find my place in writing, and I am leaning towards the Screenplay format. Since you write in almost every format, Which is easier?

1. writing a comic

2. wirting a movie

3. writing a novel

Signed,Bob Castle.

I think it depends on which one I'm not doing at the time. When you aren't doing it, the other ones are always easier, and the kind of thing that you're writing is much too hard.


We've now overhauled, the "How To Talk to Girls at Parties" main page, and it now has a bit more explanation of what it is, links to the text version and the audio version of the story, and links to the other Hugo nominated short stories. has all of the Hugo nominees up, and links to all but one of the novellas, novelettes and stories, and even one of the novels.

There's a small and valid-up-to-a-point controversy going on about not enough women being nominated for Hugos this year. (For example, this from Bookslut.) (The up-to-a point bit for me is where it's implied by some commentators that the Hugo nominations are imposed from outside, rather than simply voted for by fans and readers who are eligible to vote. They're the Hugos, you get to vote for them as a member or supporting member of the WorldCon, and if you want to see something on the list next year, vote for it. Tell your friends to vote for it. Look at the 2004 Nomination details: in 2004 it only took about 25 votes, sometimes less, to get anything shorter than a novel on the list.)


An interview in connection with the PEN World Voices Festival next week in New York --

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