The process behind writing a novel, as told through the genius of Sir Terry Pratchett and his quotable sayings.
Step one is to remember:
“The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.” -The Truth
OK Sir Terry. I will keep my pen sharp, my prose sharper. Let’s do this!
Step two: Receive idea from Universe. Translate idea into story. Insert plot. This isn’t plotty enough. Add conflict. Stir. I’m only about halfway done. Any thoughts on the correct attitude for a writer Terry?
“There are those who, when presented with a glass that is exactly half full, say: This glass is half full. And then there are those who say: This glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What’s up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don’t think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass! Who’s been pinching my beer?”
Step three: I’m not sure I can do this. There’s so much more to it than I ever imagined, and it only gets harder, instead of easier. This seems impossible sometimes.
“It is well known that a vital ingredient of success is not knowing that what you’re attempting can’t be done. A person ignorant of the possibility of failure can be a halfbrick in the path of the bicycle of history” -Equal Rites
Step four: Stay ignorant of the possibility of failure and just keep writing. Hang a shrine to Dory above my writing space and just keep trying. I’m doing this. It’s flowing! Look at all these neat descriptions!!
“Multiple exclamation marks are a sure sign of a diseased mind.”-Eric
Step five: Right, right, sorry. I’ll tone it down.
“Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.”-Hogfather
Step six: That puts a lot of responsibility on my shoulders Terry. This manuscript might be more rising ape than anything angelic. But I’m doing this. Critiqued and edited, polished, fixed, shined and fixed again. Is this hard work worth it?
“If you trust in yourself . . . and believe in your dreams . . . and follow your star . . . you’ll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren’t so lazy”-The Wee Free Men
Step seven: It’s done. It will be published and people may like it. Fragments of my soul will rest in their hands while I trust that they will treat them well. And give me money for them, which seems to be a fair exchange. It could even be a success!
Any parting thoughts Sir Terry?
“Always remember that the crowd that applauds your coronation is the same crowd that will applaud your beheading, People like a show.”-Going Postal
Both succinct, and cruel. Nice.
On a related note, Terry Pratchett is awesome and you should read his books. Start here. Someday soon I’ll put a reading list of my favorite Pratchett books on here too.