Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Neil Gaiman in Three Parts: Part I

As I was reading Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys, I was inspired to write a few blogs in advance, something that hasn't happened before (at least not merely from reading a book--I've had several "genius" blog ideas in advance, some of which have made it live). And since I wasn't sure how long I was going to take to finish the novel, I jotted them down elsewhere and waited to see if they still had merit. I think they do. Here's the first of three installments, this one from when I was still in the first third of the book.

Part I

I like my commas. I like them fluttering about the text, adding on little bits of information, inserting asides, tucking away last-minute thoughts into otherwise rather rambling sentences. When I edit, whether it's self editing as I write or editing a novel, a blog, or sometimes even an email, most of what I do is straighten sentences out, organize them, do the literary equivalent of straightening the tie against the collar of my sentences, if that makes sense to anyone but me.

Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys is not doing me any favors either. If ever there were a novel written for lovers of commas and the interjections of rambling side-thoughts of a character scattered amidst the factual information being delivered by a sentence, this is the book. (Having never read another Gaiman novel before, I can't say if they're all like this. I have a feeling they're not, since the style so aptly fits the character.)

Perhaps this is not the book for me to be reading as I begin my rewrites of CD, but it is the one that I'm reading now, and it'll have to do. At least I'm conscious of the fact that I'm overindulging my own longwindedness—a fact I realized when I my own rambling thoughts became one run on sentence too convoluted for me to follow. I'm so glad I'm the only one who can hear me in here, pre-edited. I can only imagine the horrible reality-TV-esque quotes that would be splashed across headlines if y'all could hear some of my more ridiculous, scattered, and plain silly nimwit thoughts! (Were I also famous, of course.)

(Kate, I finally figured out my favorite punctuation mark: the comma! ... What, you all don't have a favorite punctuation mark?)


Cody said...

I like ^ that one.. what is that.. a hat, a mustache, perhaps a lone eyebrow... I do not know.
I bet is has a magnificent name like... the Kinkerolupious Majesti.

TikiBird said...

Hooray! We're slowly getting together an awesome punctuation-themed Halloween costume group! (I called "the dashes"--em, en, and hyphen. Oooh, maybe I could get Brad and Henry to dress up as the em and the hyphen! LOL)

Everyone has a favorite punctuation mark...they just might not know it yet.

Rebecca Chastain said...

Cody--I've never had the opportunity to use the ^ except in emocons. "tête-à-tête" has them, but I don't use that phrase very often. :)

TikiBird--I'd love to see those costumes! Henry as a hyphen would be so cute! My comma costume could be very classy, I think, and I could see Cody's ^ costume as very comical.