Guards, Guards and other stuff

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Terry Pratchett

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Jul 13, 1992, 1:12:52 PM7/13/92
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1) The offing of the Patrician...well, we shall just have to see what
happens, won't we?
2) Remember, folks, the Carpet People is really a reprint of a book written
25 years ago; I've rewritten it enough so's not to feel TOO embarrassed about
it, but it's not what I'd write today. Officially, it's No.6 in the
bestsellers this week, but the Sunday Times are snotty about it and won't
acknowledge it because they say it's really a children's book even if adults
are buying it.
3) How do I write? God, this is embarrassing. Look, I just do it. It's
pictures in the head and memories and thinking about things and it all comes
together. It's something I do.
4) The Archers* gets listened to in our house, although not by me.
*Footnote for Americans, New Zealanders and others: the Archers is a
rural radio soap so old it's really a handful of Saponaria. But its a
cornerstone of the British Way of Life.
Terry

W.G.Day

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Jul 15, 1992, 9:45:49 AM7/15/92
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In article <memo....@cix.compulink.co.uk> (tprat...@cix.compulink.co.uk)
Terry Pratchett answers a question raised by Jon Brawn (and probably others)
`How do you write?':

> 3) How do I write? God, this is embarrassing. Look, I just do it. It's
>pictures in the head and memories and thinking about things and it all comes
>together. It's something I do.

This covers the creativity side. Could you comment on what sort of discipline
you use to get the non-trivial task of such a large collection of words correct,
in terms of spelling, grammar and so forth, as well as a good rendering or
implementation of your thoughts and ideas?

What sort of mechanical process does a piece of text, say a paragraph, go
through...?

1 Get written.
2 Left a week.
3 Get touched up or re-written.
4 Left a day.
5 Get checked for spelling, grammar and ambiguities.
6 Left two months.
7 Get checked again.
8 Repeat until book finished.

In a previous article you mentioned the phrase `2nd draft' in passing.
How many drafts do you do? What does this number depend on?

> Terry

Many thanks in advance,

Warren "I'm not really starting my PhD thesis 'onest guv." Day

Peter da Silva

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Jul 15, 1992, 9:43:11 PM7/15/92
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In article <13...@eagle.ukc.ac.uk> w...@ukc.ac.uk (Warren Day) writes:
>1 Get written.
>2 Left a week.
>3 Get touched up or re-written.
>4 Left a day.
>5 Get checked for spelling, grammar and ambiguities.
>6 Left two months.
>7 Get checked again.
>8 Repeat until book finished.

No, that's what NORMAL writers do. BRITISH writers put their work
through this process:

1. Get written.
2. Composted for a week, cleaned, dried in a peat
fire, and transcribed to flannel sheets.
3. The original paper is reused as firestarters.
4. The sheets are sent off for laundering, and left on
the upper deck of a London bus.
5. The text is rewritten from scratch on the edge of
banknotes.
6. The sheets are sold in a left luggage auction, to
the publisher, who contacts the author.
7. The two versions of the text are compared, and any
differences are erased with Pears soap.
8. Repeat until book finished.
--
`-_-'
Have you hugged your wolf today? 'U`

Peter da Silva, Taronga Park BBS, Houston, TX +1 713 568 0480/1032

Martin Keates(MSC RJH)

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Jul 16, 1992, 10:03:45 AM7/16/92
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>No, that's what NORMAL writers do. BRITISH writers put their work
>through this process:

[ detailed guide to the writing process deleted ]

And Douglas Adams' writing process is :

1. Bum around in hotels and stuff until a year after deadline.
2. Start thinking about plot (maybe).
3. Do a Southbank Show special.
4. Say "It'll be out in October" but cunningly neglect to mention which year.
5. Write book (not sure about this bit).

Martin.

Mike Rogers

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Jul 17, 1992, 6:44:31 PM7/17/92
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In article <keatesm....@cs.man.ac.uk>, kea...@cs.man.ac.uk (Martin Keates(MSC RJH)) wrote:
>And Douglas Adams' writing process is :
>1. Bum around in hotels and stuff until a year after deadline.
>2. Start thinking about plot (maybe).
>3. Do a Southbank Show special.
>4. Say "It'll be out in October" but cunningly neglect to mention which year.
>5. Write book (not sure about this bit).

I'd say step 0. involves being a script editor on a long running high profile
]high script volume BBC science fiction series.

Did I sya the P. word? No, I did not say the P. word.
--
Mike Rogers,Box 6,Regent Hse,##EveryoneHasTheRightToFreedomOfOpinionAndExpressio
TCD,EIRE. <mi...@maths.tcd.ie>##nThisRightIncludesFreedomToHoldOpinionsWithoutInt
###############################erferenceAndToSeekReceiveAndImpartInformationAndI
deasThroughAnyMediaAndRegardlessOfFrontiers...#10 UN Declaration of Human Rights

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