inkwell.vue.117 : Terry Pratchett: Thief of Time
permalink #76 of 282: Terry Pratchett (tpratchett) Mon 16 Jul 01 10:04
    
Martha,

"It may be a good thing that Humor Don't Get No Recognition, [Mark
Twain,of course, had the same problem], because you couild become an
arrogant bastard if properly honored, drinking and partying on the
Riviera, and stop writing. Oh, please, don't stop writing."

Thank you, but I'm an arrogant bastard already! And I spend altogether
too much time writing to be a proper writer.  I don't go to nearly
enough parties. There's more truth in that -- at least in the UK --
than you might think.

"Obligitory criticism, to prove my objectivity- What happened to Eric?
Scathing, huh?"

He came to the end of the book.

"Is that a glottal stop in A'tuin? We have a turtle, known variously
as Sidney, Frank, and Little A'tuinino."

Yes, it is.  You remind me of the time I got picked up at the airport
by the organizer when I was attending a lit fest in Vancouver; she
introduced herself as the head honcho, and, riddled with jetlag, I got
involved in deep discussion about whether she was a honchette.  She was
too old to be a honcharina, and not old enough to be a honchessa...

Terry
  
inkwell.vue.117 : Terry Pratchett: Thief of Time
permalink #77 of 282: With catlike tread (sumac) Mon 16 Jul 01 10:25
    
Terry, I think you will find this is regional.  In San Francisco one
speaks of a honchperson, in Seattle of a honchdroid, in Reno of a
sidehonch, in Texas of Miz Honch.

I also want to assure you that there are no limits.  The City Watch
can go to a Watch convention, or on a fact-finding tour, or they can
get a new dispatch system which keeps them completely misinformed
at all times.  I promise not to complain.
  
inkwell.vue.117 : Terry Pratchett: Thief of Time
permalink #78 of 282: obody beat (avirr) Mon 16 Jul 01 10:27
    
We're a family of Pratchett fans -- my husband first, me (I prefer the
Vimes stories), and our son as part of his evening story time -- he
loves Rincewind.  I like the characters and the musings on politics,
human behavior and civilization.  Usually people writing about those
topics are pompous and boring!
  
inkwell.vue.117 : Terry Pratchett: Thief of Time
permalink #79 of 282: Dodge (hnowell) Mon 16 Jul 01 11:02
    
Well. You could always do like Anne McCaffrey did and just jump ahead
or back a few centuries. Like telling the whole story of that last king
and Stoneface though I rather like the vague hints of what happened
better. Or maybe connect the last ruling family with Carrot somehow or
go ahead in time to the space-faring witches of Lancre. I actually
dreamed once I was on a landing party (from the Discworld) at a farm
colony that had sent in a distress signal and me and my group found
ourselves facing the landing party of the Star Trek Original Series
Enterprise. Spock was sneering at witches turning people into frogs so
the one in our landing party turned him into one. Well, he already had
the right complexion. I sure can see where some of these fanfic writers
come up with the crossover story lines. But just THINK what an
interesting universe the DW travels through.

Oh. And we don't really get up that early. The server is in San
Francisco (I believe) and I'm in Houston, Texas but it's the server
time that's stamped on the replies. I guess I shouldn't splain that to
you as you think we're dedicated fans otherwise - well, we are anyway,
but...

Are you ever going to come to Houston? 
  
inkwell.vue.117 : Terry Pratchett: Thief of Time
permalink #80 of 282: Terry Pratchett (tpratchett) Mon 16 Jul 01 12:53
    
Catlike treader,

"I also want to assure you that there are no limits.  The City Watch
can go to a Watch convention, or on a fact-finding tour, or they can
get a new dispatch system which keeps them completely misinformed
at all times."

The latter is more likely!   No, there are some limits, but I'm not up
against them yet.

Terry
  
inkwell.vue.117 : Terry Pratchett: Thief of Time
permalink #81 of 282: Terry Pratchett (tpratchett) Mon 16 Jul 01 12:55
    
Odbody beat and family,

Thank you!

Terry
  
inkwell.vue.117 : Terry Pratchett: Thief of Time
permalink #82 of 282: Terry Pratchett (tpratchett) Mon 16 Jul 01 13:00
    
Dodge,

"Well. You could always do like Anne McCaffrey did and just jump ahead
or back a few centuries."

Something like that is planned and, indeed, sketched out. But I don't
think I could make a habit of it...  

You know, I don't think I've been to Houston, although I've been to
Texas quite a few times and, as a ribs fan, would take any excuse to go
there.  Anyway, on tour you never 'go' to anywhere -- you see a
terminal, a car interior, the inside of a shop, maybe the inside of a
radio station, a hotel room and then another day dawns.

Terry
  
inkwell.vue.117 : Terry Pratchett: Thief of Time
permalink #83 of 282: With catlike tread (sumac) Mon 16 Jul 01 16:30
    
Now suddenly I am worried about Berilia, Tubul, Great T'Phon, &
Jerakeen, the elephants who carry the Discworld and stand on the
Great A'Tuin.  What do they *do* with their trunks all day?
  
inkwell.vue.117 : Terry Pratchett: Thief of Time
permalink #84 of 282: somewhere between drue and an eggplant (mtrbike) Mon 16 Jul 01 18:34
    

>I was a little disappointed to see Jean disposed of at the end of
 Thief of Time.

Hey!  Hey!  spoilers!  


Good to see you here, Terry.  My mother gave me Colour of Magic a
zillion years ago, when it was new, which probably makes me one
of your oldest fans here, and I'm not even that old.  I was one of
those wierdos who used to get the books from the UK when US publishers
were being slow to publish them.  I can't say for sure, but I'm
pretty certain that the US folk *were* editing the language, Harry Potter
style.  The tone seemed a lot different between the US books and the UK
ones.  I remember being startled at the difference. 


I have a technique question: are you the sort of writer who plots out
a book scene by scene before writing anything, or do you just dive in 
on chapter one page one and see where it goes?  
  
inkwell.vue.117 : Terry Pratchett: Thief of Time
permalink #85 of 282: Linda Castellani (castle) Mon 16 Jul 01 23:23
    
E-mail from Martha:

Surely, a she-honcho is a honcha? It is to be hoped she doesn't act 
too macha. Martha
  
inkwell.vue.117 : Terry Pratchett: Thief of Time
permalink #86 of 282: Martha Soukup (soukup) Tue 17 Jul 01 00:51
    
(But not this Martha.)
  
inkwell.vue.117 : Terry Pratchett: Thief of Time
permalink #87 of 282: Terry Pratchett (tpratchett) Tue 17 Jul 01 01:14
    
Catlike treader...

It's a great mystery.  You are probably not old enough.

Terry
  
inkwell.vue.117 : Terry Pratchett: Thief of Time
permalink #88 of 282: Terry Pratchett (tpratchett) Tue 17 Jul 01 01:31
    
Eggplant,

"I can't say for sure, but I'm pretty certain that the US folk *were*
editing the language, Harry Potter style.  The tone seemed a lot
different between the US books and the UK ones.  I remember being
startled at the difference."

Up until maybe three years ago you were probably right.  Now we've set
up a, uh, dynamic conference of my, my editor and the copy editor
(remember the triangular shoot out in Reservoir Dogs?)  It *is* the
copy editor's job to highlight possible problems, but that doesn't mean
their word has to be law. We've gone to the mat on one or two points
-- mind you, I do that in the UK sometimes, too (like, I *know* there
are times when Mr does not do and you use Mister.  John Wayne never
said 'Mr')


"I have a technique question: are you the sort of writer who plots out
a book scene by scene before writing anything, or do you just dive in 
on chapter one page one and see where it goes?"

No chapters, but you are basically correct.  But it's not a blind
dive.  In the current book, I know what some of the big scenes have to
be; I feel I know how several of the characters will interact; I know
some of the things I want to *say*.  But in draft 0 I can let the dice
roll and allow for quantum plotting. The important thing is to go in
there with a hatchet and a shovel before you start draft 1.
Draft 0 is written to tell the author the story.

Even as I write this, I see it sounds wrong.  The best anoalogy is
with the sculptor who said "I just chip away all the stone that isn't
statue."

Terry 
  
inkwell.vue.117 : Terry Pratchett: Thief of Time
permalink #89 of 282: Dodge (hnowell) Tue 17 Jul 01 07:17
    
Yes. My boss travels a lot on business and he says the same thing. You
see the airport and the hotel and whatever you can see from the taxi
windows on the way to and from the meeting and the hotel and airport
and that's it. Too tired to tour the city. Pity. 

And hey, mtrbike, it is my understanding there is no such thing as
spoilers in inkwell.vue because those of us who were told about this
interview in advance were asked to read the book before coming in here.
If you go in the Neil Gaiman interview you see them discussing in
extreme detail the events and people of the book with nary a spoiler
notation in sight. It WOULD be a little hard to ask Terry questions if
you had to stop and put in long spoiler spaces every time.

Terry, That's great about the future and past books planned and I see
your point about not being able to do it much. After a while, the fans,
myself included, will want another book about their favorite
characters after all. 

Next question:
You are much more accessible, I noticed, than many other authors I
read. With alt.books.pratchett and the like where you actually post
replies and all - Which, by the by, is great as it makes that forum
much more polite than many I go into. I was very amused to see one guy
arguing with the meaning of an event in one of the books with the
previous poster and opposing what THEY said it meant - and it was you
he was contradicting. Also, I've seen your email address posted some
places. I know you try to reply to a lot of them and that this would be
impossible because I'm sure the volume is great. Do you ever have
problems with fans flaming you or stuff like that? Do you ever have
people "dropping by while they are in the neighborhood" or deliberately
seeking out your house?

On much the same vein, how do you deal with people who come into
readings or whatever with preconceived (and erroneous) notions of what
you MEANT and won't take YOUR answers as correct? 

Also, your writing is somewhat unique and personally I feel that
there's not much comparison to anybody else despite the fact to refer
to other writing and such - but, people DO comparisons all the time.
What other authors or books do you hear people comparing your work to
most often?
  
inkwell.vue.117 : Terry Pratchett: Thief of Time
permalink #90 of 282: Terry Pratchett (tpratchett) Tue 17 Jul 01 09:26
    
Dodge,

Ref my presense on alt.fan.pratchett:"Which, by the by, is great as it
makes that forum much more polite than many I go into."

It has had its moments, particularly involving people who genuinely
don't know the difference between parody, research, allusion and
plagiarism.

"Do you ever have problems with fans flaming you or stuff like that?"

Rarely.  The worst cases tend to be kids who have left it until
*tonight* to do a project they were given five weeks ago and just say
'send me EVERYTHING!!!!!'  When they get an e-mail back saying 'I'll
answer you questions, but I can't send you a pro-forma project' they
can get quite abusive.

" Do you ever have people 'dropping by while they are in the
neighborhood' or deliberately seeking out your house?"

Yes.  I deal with it.

"On much the same vein, how do you deal with people who come into
readings or whatever with preconceived (and erroneous) notions of what
you MEANT and won't take YOUR answers as correct?"

I write the stuff,I can't tell people how to read it.  So I don't get
overly involved in arguments. I get a bit testy if people have a theory
that they are going to ride no matter what, but on alt.fan.pratchett
the situation soon resolves itself because, sooner or later, all
threads default to chocolate:-) 

"What other authors or books do you hear people comparing your work
to?"

Classically, it was Douglas Adams, a comparison which I think became
less and less justifiable as the 90s wore on. One US reviewer of ToT
likened me to Tom Robbins, and I was very happy with that. But ToT of
The Fifth Elephant are a world away from The Colo(u)r of Magic, so
comparisons are rocky at best.

Terry
  
inkwell.vue.117 : Terry Pratchett: Thief of Time
permalink #91 of 282: Dodge (hnowell) Tue 17 Jul 01 10:53
    
Yes, and the argument about chocolate vs. caramel and regional
differences and....Ah, yes, and that brings me to my next question...

How did chocolate come about as the weapon of choice in ToT?
  
inkwell.vue.117 : Terry Pratchett: Thief of Time
permalink #92 of 282: Terry Pratchett (tpratchett) Tue 17 Jul 01 11:34
    
Dodge

"How did chocolate come about as the weapon of choice in ToT?"

I think it began a year or so ago when I was on tour and a shop
presented me with a box of chocolates.  I find it quite easy to refuse
the first chocolate; I can go for months, years, without ever feeling a
desire for chocolate.  It's the second chocolate I have problems
with...

And, as the wrappings fell like rain, I thought: what would it be like
if you'd never tasted anything in your life, and then they gave you a
box of chocolates?

Terry
  
inkwell.vue.117 : Terry Pratchett: Thief of Time
permalink #93 of 282: With catlike tread (sumac) Tue 17 Jul 01 12:42
    
I'd like to know....  As a kid I was fascinated by a description
of someone seeing the ocean for the first time, and was sad to
realize that I had seen it so young that the memory was not
available to me.  And now I realize with fresh remorse that I
neglected to raise my own children inland and deprived of
chocolate, and so have repeated the same error.


So spells can only be used once?  Can one use the same spell
over with minor variations?

Also, is there a card catalog in the library at Unseen U.?
  
inkwell.vue.117 : Terry Pratchett: Thief of Time
permalink #94 of 282: ppint (jonl) Tue 17 Jul 01 14:29
    
Email from ppint:

        - hi, terry; a couple of questions - but i fear that the
        answer to one will be short, and less than sweet:

        a] authors draw upon their personal, "real life" experiences
           for their work, as well as upon research, general reading,
           dimly-remembered bits and pieces of their school education,
           et seq; are you aware of any changes in your writing since
           you gave up the day job; do you still garner the same kind
           of "writer's grist" for your auctorial mill ?

        b] are there any plans for a re-issue of the full, profusely-
           colour-illustrated-by-josh-kirby, _Eric_ ?

        - thank-you (& thanks to the organisers of this);

        - see you in a fortnight <fx: terry starts to gibber>;

        - love, ppint.
  
inkwell.vue.117 : Terry Pratchett: Thief of Time
permalink #95 of 282: Martha Coyote (jonl) Tue 17 Jul 01 14:31
    
Email from Martha Coyote:

Who are some of the authors besides Robbins and Westlake that you don't
mind being compared to? I don't worry about asking you who influenced you,
[a question that has an unfortunate tendency to sound like "who did you
imitate?], because its hard to see how you could have found someone to
imitate.

I find myself occasionally reminded of Will Cuppy, not because of style,
which is quite different, but because of your outlook, aa affectionate,
open-eyed cynicism.

Martha Coyote
  
inkwell.vue.117 : Terry Pratchett: Thief of Time
permalink #96 of 282: Steve Block (jonl) Tue 17 Jul 01 14:31
    
Email from Steve Block:

Hello Mr Pratchett,

Um, I was just wondering if there are any plans to collect the Discworld
short stories into one volume?

Than you for writing such enjoyable books, too.

Cheers,
Steve Block
  
inkwell.vue.117 : Terry Pratchett: Thief of Time
permalink #97 of 282: Terry Pratchett (tpratchett) Tue 17 Jul 01 14:59
    
Catlike treader...

"So spells can only be used once?  Can one use the same spell
over with minor variations?"

As far as I know, you can repeat the spell as often as you have the
power to do so.

Also, is there a card catalog in the library at Unseen U.?

I think I've mentioned one, but I imagine they used something far more
extraordinary for the *special* books.

You know, your comment suggests that we'd be most fortunate if we were
shielded from all experience and then suddenly were exposed to them --
which sould like real life to me:-)

Terry
  
inkwell.vue.117 : Terry Pratchett: Thief of Time
permalink #98 of 282: Dodge (hnowell) Tue 17 Jul 01 15:05
    
YES! I would so love to see all your short stories - not just the
discworld ones - in one volume.

In all books about the Discworld the character of Death appears. We've
all seen how he has developed into the personality we see in ToT.

How did this character come about when you were first writing him and
why did you decide to expand on him and write books with him as the
main character?

And, comment, when I'm telling people about your books, he's the
hardest one to get across - They look at me funny when I tell them my
favorite character is Death.
  
inkwell.vue.117 : Terry Pratchett: Thief of Time
permalink #99 of 282: Terry Pratchett (tpratchett) Tue 17 Jul 01 15:09
    
ppint,

Real life just happens.  And I was almost 40 before I quit the day
job. That's a lot of real life -- you could say I've got it stored.
And in terms of sheer sensory input, I probably get more now.  It's
not like I pay someone to go and experience it for me:-)

You know, with Orion like it is at the moment, I would not be
surprised if the big format Eric was resurrected.  I might ask them.

Anf...why, yes, ppint, I am indeed looking forward to seeing you at
the Clarecraft Event...

Terry
  
inkwell.vue.117 : Terry Pratchett: Thief of Time
permalink #100 of 282: Terry Pratchett (tpratchett) Tue 17 Jul 01 15:11
    
Steve,

We talk about an anthology sometimes, but I won't do if until I can
write a few original stories to go into it.  And short stories cost me
blood. I find it hard to think short.

Terry
  

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