neil gaiman

“i want to write more doc­tor who. i want to write for ca­paldi”

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Neil gaiman - ©

what you did and you delete that sen­tence and you move that bit around and you tidy it up, and, you know, ten years later, you’re proof­read­ing a big col­lected Sand­man and you can’t re­mem­ber what pages you wrote on the day when you said “I’m use­less – why am I do­ing this?” and the day the words dripped from your fin­gers like liq­uid di­a­monds. You know you had the fan­tas­tic days. You know you had the hard days. But what you’re left with is the story. Sarah Hal­sted

For about 25 years I’ve been say­ing “no thank you” to of­fers to take Sand­man to the big screen. It’s like a round­about. It goes around again, and right now we are at that point where Joseph Gor­don- Le­vitt – as a pro­ducer, and prob­a­bly a di­rec­tor – and David Goyer and a writer named Jack Thorne are work­ing on Sand­man. Speak­ing as some­one who’s watched th­ese things hap­pen, every­body does more or less the same thing for the first movie. You take the things you like from Pre­ludes And Nocturnes and you take the bits you like from The Doll’s House, and you tend to take Rose Walker, be­cause she’s a lovely view­point character, and you tend to take the struc­ture of go­ing and get­ting the helm and the sand and the ruby and use that as your movie struc­ture. And you may go and take the se­rial killer’s con­ven­tion or you may not… Even in the most ter­ri­ble scripts – and there have been some ter­ri­ble ones – that’s where they’ve gone. I do not want a bad Sand­man movie to be made. I would pre­fer no Sand­man film to a bad one. I would pre­fer a fan­tas­tic film that peo­ple walk away from stunned, en­chanted and, more im­por­tantly, or­der­ing their copies of the books to no Sand­man film. But I’m very happy with no Sand­man film and just the books. Do you ever find your­self as a pup­pet master with your char­ac­ters, putting them through hell just be­cause they are your crea­tures and you can? Or do you find an in­trin­sic qual­ity in the character that you just can’t vi­o­late,

Sharon Reine

You make char­ac­ters. You im­bue them with a cer­tain amount of life. You try and make them be­liev­able. You put the character in a sit­u­a­tion. You watch how they re­act. Peo­ple prob­a­bly have the same con­ver­sa­tion with God about cre­at­ing char­ac­ters with free will, and God’s try­ing to ex­plain it. And He says “Well, yes, you cre­ate them with free will, but they’ve got th­ese pa­ram­e­ters. I know who Nick [ SFX] is.

I know who Neil is. There is no point dur­ing this con­ver­sa­tion where they are both go­ing to tear off their clothes, light up that fire, oil down and do naked wrestling like Oliver Reed. Be­cause it’s Neil and Nick and they don’t do that.” Hard though it is to re­sist, ob­vi­ously. Nei­ther are we both go­ing to le­vi­tate and hang around the ceil­ing, dis­cussing our plans to take over the Earth. Equally tempt­ing as that would be. Be­cause we aren’t those peo­ple, and that would vi­o­late sus­pen­sion of dis­be­lief in any­body read­ing it. When I’m cre­at­ing a character I want to be­lieve in those char­ac­ters. I want to be­lieve in the things that they do. I want them to be con­sis­tent. I don’t need to un­der­stand ev­ery­thing about them.

Guil­herme Do­brych­top

That would make it fine for me, be­cause ob­vi­ously I cre­ated my Death, and that was part of the fun. So I would be per­fectly happy with her show­ing up and say­ing “You know, you re­ally should have looked both ways be­fore you crossed that road.” I hope it’s a long time from now. When I do die I vaguely hope that the world is not go­ing to be sud­denly filled with draw­ings of Death tak­ing Neil Gaiman by the hand and say­ing some­thing cute… That I feel slightly more awk­ward about. And it almost def­i­nitely will hap­pen. It’s one of those things that didn’t oc­cur to me while I was writ­ing it. But then again, I’m proud of her as a character, I love her very much. There are worse Deaths who could meet you.

Lara Keane

Yeah, fuck­ing write… Look, somebody once said to me “What do I do, be­cause I want to be a writer and yet I do not write, I pro­cras­ti­nate, and I beat my­self up over this.” I said “It’s fine. There are other peo­ple who’ll do the writ­ing.” And it’s true. There are other peo­ple who will do it. How do you do it? You do it. You put one word after another. Are there elves in the night who will come and fin­ish your sto­ries for you? No, there aren’t. Is there a magic way that you can write your sto­ries while still not writ­ing them? No, there’s not. You do it one word at a time.

Ariel Car­valho

Merv Pump­kin­head. Be­cause he’s a cigarsmok­ing, pump­kin- headed jan­i­tor who would not be scared by any­thing in a haunted house, and he would be ab­so­lutely re­as­sur­ing. Plus he’d prob­a­bly clean up a bit. And he would have opin­ions. I would feel very safe and com­fort­able with him. And he’s not go­ing to do any­thing bril­liant and un­ex­pected. The last thing you want is to be with a bril­liant and un­ex­pected per­son. They might say “Stay here, I’ll be right back.” No! It’s a haunted house! You want somebody who’ll say “Hey, there’s tea over here. You want tea?”

Callum Tre­vitt I very much hope so. I want to write more

Doc­tor Who. I want to write for Peter Ca­paldi very, very much. He has an in­ten­sity that is amaz­ing, and a power. He’s the first Doc­tor we’ve had since Christo­pher Ec­cle­ston to ut­terly dom­i­nate the scene. He doesn’t have to be say­ing any­thing and we’re still watch­ing him. We’re still in­ter­ested in him. And he’s tor­tured, in a fas­ci­nat­ing sort of way. But he’s still the Doc­tor. That’s who you write for. If, un­for­tu­nately, Peter Ca­paldi was eaten by space goats the night that I fin­ished my script, I’d hope my script would work for the next guy. It’s al­ways about the Doc­tor. I have a few ideas. I got ideas for some­thing that I would have loved to have done with Doc­tor Who when I wrote my Noth­ing O’Clock story for Puf­fin. And when I wrote it I thought maybe it’ll be like a char­coal sketch of some­thing that I could come back to, in the same way that Steven Mof­fat went back to his Doc­tor

Who an­nual story for “Blink”. As it is, I feel like I did ev­ery­thing I wanted to do with those char­ac­ters and those ideas in Noth­ing

O’Clock any­way, so I’d prob­a­bly do some­thing com­pletely new. All I need is time. If peo­ple can have a whip- round, if all of your read­ers could send me a minute each, I will take the time they send.

Ma­teus Feld

No, I do not feed on lost sleep. On the other hand I do feed on all missed buses and train con­nec­tions.

Words drip from his fin­gers like liq­uid di­a­monds. Some days.

Ex­pect to see Rose Walker in any Sand­man movie.

Merv Pump­kin­head: un­afraid of spooks and will­ing to make the tea.

The Sleeper And The Spin­dle is pub­lished by Blooms­bury on 23 Oc­to­ber.

Su­ranne Jones was Idris in Gaiman’s Who episode “The Doc­tor’s Wife”.

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