Tuesday, December 06, 2005

New hope from Neverwhere

Recommended Website: http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/

I'm currently reading Neverwhere, by Niel Gaiman. The book is nothing special, yet it is spectacular. By that, I mean it's the story of an unassuming young man who needs to learn to stand up for himself and live -- he's no superhero or super detective or super moron protagonist. It's just life. The story, considered fantasy in genre, is a fantastic tale. It faces the protagonist with a whole different world in which he, in turn, must face who he is.

I think my favorite thing about this book is that Gaiman breaks the rules. He just tells the story and even commits author intrusion! I see lots of "wases" and adverbs but I get lost in the story.

What I've learned from this is that I don't have to get so tight-assed about perfection. The lack of perfection--perhaps what we may call unique voice?-- is perfection in and of itself.

Thank you Neil.



Ann said...

Nienke, you're right. Often, especially when first starting out, worries over perfect prose and grammar do more damage to the storytelling than good.

I got a better response to my first book (still unpublished) because of my voice than I did subsequent books where I tried to play by the rules.

Over time I learned what rules worked for me and what rules didn't.

Enthusiastic writing that's true to YOU will win over technically perfect writing every time. It's all about the story!

Kelly (Lynn) Parra said...

Wow, sounds really interesting! I've heard of him, but haven't read him before. I may have to look up his work!

Philanthropist said...

"She had been running for four days now, a harum-scarum tumbling flight through passages and tunnels. She was hungry, and exhausted, and more tired than a body could stand...she had found a hiding place, a tiny stone burrow, under the world, where she would be safe..." Sounds like an excellent environment to write a novel.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nienke! Thanks so much for dropping in on my new blog. Sorry things are a little cluttered around there right now -- I'm still unpacking. Best of luck on your writing career! I'll be watching to see what happens! I wish you all the luck in the world! Drop by my place anytime - maybe I'll have it clean the next time you visit! I hope!
Take care, Paisley

Angie said...

Have you read Stardust (also by Neil Gaiman)? It is a magical fairy tale for adults. I come back to that book every five years.

Ali Al Saeed said...

Hi Nienke,

I'm a bit Gaiman fan and find his work always inspirational. The fact that he's not afraid to take an idea and run wild with it, enables him to create remarkable things.

Always challange the rule, cross the boundries and stretch your imagination.

And Neverwhere is a brilliant novel. Wait till you read American Gods, or Stardust, or any other work by Gaiman for that matter!