Selasa, November 23, 2004


I recently received a mail that carried a new wrinkle to the old question, "Where do you writers get your crazy ideas?"

I don't want to give the name of the mail writer, because he asked this question out of sincere curiosity, and I don't want people to think that this particular guy is the author of extremely stupid questions. Why hold him up to public ridicule? Basically, he had read a recent story of mine, and asked, "How did you come up with the idea?" The trouble was, the story he read was just pure fiction and fantasy. This is one of those instances where the answer is quite easy : I came up with the idea when I was sitting down thinking and asked myself if I would be interested in writing it. It's the purest form of work-for-hire there is.

I don't know how the mail could have missed this rather pertinent point.

... and of 'course, there are other questions like ;

" What - for you, is a typical day of writing? "

The answer : There are no typical days. Overall I try to get up. Sort out any emergencies, answer any queries on my mail or friendster. Write. Keep writing. Write more. Sort out any emergencies or queries on the 'net. Eat dinner. Read to myself. Write even more, or read. Sleep.This is the plan and it rarely works quite as smoothly as that. Teh 'o panas is also drunk in quantity.

" What types of benefits, royalties, etc ... do you get? "

The answer : Mostly I get a royalty( ... tak tau la namanya tu royalti ke tak ), which is a percentage of the gross (or sometimes, but more rarely, a percentage of the publisher's net profits) on what I write. I don't get any benefits, as a writer of prose or comics, but because I write short articles as well and am a member of friendster and other online community, which is the sought of the best way to ask people to read my story, I got secured, and they will probably come out and bury me cheaply when I stop writing.

" What parts of writing do you actually DISLIKE? Why? "

The answer : I don't dislike writing. I dislike lots of the bits that aren't writing, and get in the way of writing. Not getting much sleep on normal weeks, and the way my hand hurts somewhere at the end of the week, for example. The weird sort of trade-offs in terms of publicity and privacy. Not having the time I'd like for old friends. Beside meetings, especially ones over the phone, especially when they've contacted me to ask me to do something, and now want me to convince them how much I want to do it.

" Is there any part of the job you enjoy more than others? A favorite? "

The answer : There's a thing that sometimes happens on the page, where something wasn't in my head -- or anywhere -- a fraction of a second before I got to that moment in the story or the script, and suddenly I find yourself writing something that's making me laugh or shudder or look at it wide-eyed, and I think, "Where did that come from?" That's the very best bit.

( Ehmm ... last but not least, the most frequently asked question thus far; )

" How hard was it for YOU to get a career in writing? "

Oh, pretty easy I guess. I got up one morning in the late 90's and realised I ought to be a writer, because it was all that I wanted to do( beside drawing ), and I couldn't put up a shelf to save my life. Well, not one you'd actually want to put things on. Then I worked very hard for a very long time, feeding and supporting a family on what I could make with my pc at home, first as a journalist, and then ( ... about the point that typewriters went off into history ) as a writer of fiction. I looked around about ten years later to find I was an overnight success, albeit an overnight success with ten or so books in print.

yeah ... rrrright!!!

p/s : It appears Superman has his villian and it's the usual suspect! That's right Kevin Spacey will be Lex Luthor. A reliable source of mine has informed me that Spacey is a confirm lock for Lex. Rumours have been circulating for a while but Kevin Spacey is finally the one. Some reliable sources also recently reported that the actor has tested with Brandon Routh( ... our Superman!) and Spacey himself confirmed he has been offered the part. I can now exclusively reveal that Kevin Spacey has sorted out his scheduling problems and will take time off from his role at any point to shoot Superman in Sydney next year. This will reteam Spacey with Bryan Singer and mean that Brandon Routh will be battling it out with a two time Oscar Winner who is one of Hollywood's most respected actors!


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