Good Omens Question #14 ~ A Tale of Two Writers

by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Good Omens Question #14 ~ A Tale of Two Writers

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Aug 20, 2006 11:20 am

As you were reading the book did you get the sense it was written by more than one author? Were you able to pick out their two different styles?
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Sun Aug 20, 2006 1:21 pm

Heavens, no!! Not nearly that astute! :dunce:
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Unread postby nebraska » Sun Aug 20, 2006 1:35 pm

No. I think it all fit together seamlessly. The authors are equally insane. (I LOVE these guys! )

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Aug 20, 2006 3:55 pm

I couldn't tell at all so I thought I'd ask you all if it was just me! :lol: I remember reading a book several years ago written by Stephen King and another author. I could always tell who wrote what parts but in Good Omens I thought it was seamless.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby fansmom » Sun Aug 20, 2006 4:06 pm

I haven't read anything else by either of them (so I wouldn't recognize their styles), but I, too, thought it was seamless.

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Unread postby Bix » Sun Aug 20, 2006 8:19 pm

nebraska wrote:No. I think it all fit together seamlessly. The authors are equally insane. (I LOVE these guys! )

I'm with you, Nebraska. They are equally nuts and I had no feeling that I was reading something written "by committee". My dad and I share a love of science fiction/fantasy and adventure novels and many of the "elder statesperson" authors in those genres share writing credits with younger authors - which I happen to think is a great idea. But the ones that really succeed are the ones where you know they bounced around the ideas and phrases and finally merged them into one seamless product - which I think Gaiman and Pratchett did beautifully here.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Aug 20, 2006 8:41 pm

Having become so used to instant communication via email or im these days, it amazes me that they were able to do it via fax and telephone! I suspect their editor had a gray hair or two before the process was over! :lol:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Theresa » Mon Aug 21, 2006 3:02 am

I hope I'm not overstepping into another discussion question -- but the additional material in the hardbound edition has a great answer for this.

In the section Good Omens, The Facts (or, at least, lies that have been hallowed by time), page 372, there is the question:


WHO WROTE WHAT BIT?
Ah. Another tricky one. As the official Keeper of the One True Copy, Terry physically wrote more of Draft 1 than Neil. But if 2,000 words are written down after a lot of excited shouting, it's a moot point whose words they are. And, in any case, as a matter of honor both of them rewrote and footnoted the other guy's stuff, and both can write passably in the other one's style. The Agnes Nutter scenes and the kids mostly originated with Terry, the Four Horsemen and anything that involved maggots started with Neil. Neil had most influence on the opening, Terry on the ending. Apart from that, they just shouted excitedly a lot.

The point they both realized the text had wandered into its own world was in the basement of the old Gollancz books, where they'd got together to proofread the final copy, and Neil congratulated Terry on a line that Terry knew he hadn't written, and Neil was certain he hadn't written either. They both privately suspect that at some point the book had started to generate text on its own, but neither of them will actually admit this publicly for fear of being thought odd.

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:24 am

Somehow that wouldn't surprise me, theresa! :-O
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby suec » Mon Aug 21, 2006 9:03 am

I couldn't tell that it was written by two writers. I guess I made certain assumptions, given that the narrative switches between characters, but I didn't see the seams.
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Unread postby Liz » Tue Aug 22, 2006 1:09 am

I couldn't tell either. I think they work very well together.
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