I wrote the first 5,000 words of William the Antichrist. It had a demon named Crawleigh. He drove a Citroen 2CV, and was ineffectual. Proper demons like Hastur and Ligur loathed him. It had a baby swap. I sent it to a few friends for feedback. Then my graphic novel Sandman happened, and it was almost a year later that the phone rang.
“It’s Terry,” said Terry. “‘Ere. That thing you sent me. Are you doing anything with it?”
“Well, I think I know what happens next. Do you want to sell it to me? Or write it together?”
“Write it together,” I said, because I was not stupid, and because that was the nearest I was ever going to get to Michaelangelo phoning to ask if I wanted to paint a ceiling with him.
Katniss, you’re named after a potato root get off your high fucking horse
Douglas Adams is the best when it comes to describe characters
they need to teach classes on Douglas Adams analogies okay
“He leant tensely against the corridor wall and frowned like a man trying to unbend a corkscrew by telekinesis.”
“Stones, then rocks, then boulders which pranced past him like clumsy puppies, only much, much bigger, much, much harder and heavier, and almost infinitely more likely to kill you if they fell on you.”
“He gazed keenly into the distance and looked as if he would quite like the wind to blow his hair back dramatically at that point, but the wind was busy fooling around with some leaves a little way off.”
“It looked only partly like a spaceship with guidance fins, rocket engines and escape hatches and so on, and a great deal like a small upended Italian bistro.”
“If it was an emotion, it was a totally emotionless one. It was hatred, implacable hatred. It was cold, not like ice is cold, but like a wall is cold. It was impersonal, not as a randomly flung fist in a crowd is impersonal, but like a computer-issued parking summons is impersonal. And it was deadly – again, not like a bullet or a knife is deadly, but like a brick wall across a motorway is deadly.”
And, of course:
“The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.”
the one that will always stay with me is “Arthur Dent was grappling with his consciousness the way one grapples with a lost bar of soap in the bath,” i feel like that was the first time i really understood what you could do with words.
When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art.’ I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.