13 March, 2015

Quotable Friday (42)

I wasn't going to do a Quotable Friday this week, but it seemed wrong not to in the circumstances. I'm not a die-hard fan of Sir Terry Pratchett, but I've read a fair few of his books, enjoyed them all and spent a lot of my youth listening to the fabulous Tony Robinson reading the audiobook versions. Following his death earlier this week, he is going to be greatly missed by thousands of readers and writers alike.

It seems an impossible task to choose a quotation from his huge catalogue of books. He basically invented flippant fantasy and was its king for years. The thing that got me into writing was accepting a dare to enter a novel-writing competition. My shortlisted entry was likened in style to Pratchett by the judges so I owe him a lot. My usual style is nothing like that now, but I still wanted to share a little something from his advice to fantasy writers about taking fantasy seriously (even if it's comic), found in the Writers' and Artists' Yearbook...

"Taking it seriously means that there must be rules. If anything can happen, then there is no real suspense. You are allowed to make pigs fly, but you must take into account the depredations on the local bird life and the need for people in heavily over-flown areas to carry stout umbrellas at all times."

One of the most popular of Sir Terry's characters was Death itself. So it seems appropriate to pick a final quotation from him...

"DON'T THINK OF IT AS DYING,' said Death. "THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH."

He may have left too early, but don't think Terry Pratchett is going to be forgotten.

2 comments:

  1. "Flippant fantasy . . ." I love that description. And I love his quote you chose about death: "Leaving early to avoid the rush." I never read his books, and one of my nephews has been a great fan of all his books. The obit and your post have made me want to read him.

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    1. I think that's how Tom Holt describes his writing, and he's fairly similar in style.

      It's probably sacrilege to say so, but I'd recommend listening to one of the books first. Tony Robinson does such an amazing job narrating The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic, it really enriched my later reading of Terry Pratchett's other books.

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