Monday, July 09, 2007

twelve thousand words to go

Went out to my writing cabin today for the first time in many months, having failed to notice that it was a day like an oven in the Midwest and having many optimistic but inaccurate memories about how effective the portable air-conditioning unit in there was. I cooked, but I hand-wrote about a thousand words of a short story for the BBC's Radio 4. (Who, after I agreed to do it, kept writing and pointing out that the money for a short story from the BBC is even worse than money from anywhere else and was I absolutely sure I still really wanted to write it? And of course I do.)

I took the dog with. And I stopped writing when the storm clouds rolled in and it all turned into night outside.

I just got a slightly nervous email from Evan Dorkin, who was surprised and, I think, a little worried by the response to his LJ rant about the scents in Diamond, so I wrote back and reassured him that I thought it was funny and honestly hadn't linked to it so that people would go and shout at him. This is Evan Dorkin, after all, the man behind Milk And Cheese and the Eltingville Club, and he rants really well. He's very funny.

Todd Klein is the best letterer I've ever worked with, and because I like working with him so much he's now statistically pretty much the only letterer I've ever worked with. He's a craftsman, and one of the nicest people in comics, and he was my unofficial editor on Sandman as well. He's just put up a website at, and if you're interested in the craft of lettering comics, or in the story of Sandman from the only other person to be there from Sandman #1 to Endless Nights... and a whole lot more besides, then you should wander over.

Just out of curiosity, how many words were Anansi Boys, Neverwhere, and American Gods respectively? I'm working on a novel and, while I don't want to modify it for word count or even aim for any word count, I certainly don't want it to fall in that ackwardly middle novella-type length that you see published so infrequently. It's amazingly hard to find word counts for published novels... Thanks.

Anansi Boys is a hair under 100,000 words and Neverwhere is a few thousand words over 100,000. American Gods when originally handed in was about 200,000 words (and still is, if you get the "Author's preferred text edition" in the UK and was cut to somewhere a bit under 180,000 words. Stardust was 50,000 words. Coraline was 30,000 words. (I think that 60,000 words is probably a good minimum word count to aim for when you write an adult novel, 40,000 for a book for younger readers. But publishers go more for whether they like something than what the word count is.)

Hi Neil,
I noticed on the Comic Con sneak-peek schedule that you will be on a movie panel on Thursday 7/26 and the Jack Kirby tribute panel on Sunday 7/29; will you have your own session during the convention?

Yup. I'm still waiting for final confirmation on the various other panels and presentations I'll be on, then I'll post them all here, but the solo one is:

Friday July 27th:
2-3:15 pm Spotlight on Neil Gaiman.
Room 6 CDEF
signing after from 3:15-4:15 pm

And talking about word counts, I notice from that I'm now a mere 12,000 words away from having written a million words on this blog in the last six and a half years. Blimey.