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Gaiman on Writing Novels and Short Stories.

Neil Gaiman on writing novels and short stories, in an interview from Rain Taxi:
If writing a novel is a year's exile to a foreign country, writing a short story is a weekend spent somewhere exotic. They're much more like vacations, more exciting and different, and you're off. "Look at me, I'm writing something that I will finish by tea time!"
Though he doesn't write that fast all the time (later in the interview he reveals that a "pornographic" story had him stuck for four months), I think I can understand the rush of writing a short.

The spark of an idea appears; you try to hold on to it for as long as you can; if possible you play around with it; turn it this way and that; see what can be moulded out of the idea. Then you grab pen and paper, or keyboard and word processor, off you go! - exploring a little world that's approximately 3000 to 5000 words long; before you know it, time bends in extremely complex ways just so it can deceive you by running faster than it ought to. In 4 hours that feels like 4 minutes, you've finished a short story. It may not be a good one, but you had fun writing it anyway, which is the most important part.


  1. Totally agree!

    Wish I could write 4 hours non-stop though. Laziness, self-doubt and the pub down the road seems to get in the way!

  2. Haha! The usual suspects I see. You oughta bring along a notebook and pen to the pub with you.


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