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A Year of Books
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Fantasy needs to be based in reality, says Pratchett

2nd October 2009

The secret to writing good fantasy novels is to keep the stories connected to reality, according to Sir Terry Pratchett.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, the 61-year-old author claimed that books set in a parallel universe have to stay within a 'micrometre' of the truth to remain credible.

'If I've learnt nothing else about writing fantasy, it is that to do it successfully you have to keep at least one foot in the real world,' he explained.

Pratchett also revealed that he does not plan his works to take place in a parallel universe, but this is how they end up most of the time - as demonstrated in his popular Discworld series and forthcoming paperback, Nation, which is the newspaper's October book choice.

The author added that Nation 'rather wrote itself', as he began with an idea of a boy standing on a beach and crafted the book out of the images that followed.

His comments come after a recent interview with the newspaper, in which Pratchett explained the effect the onset of Alzheimer's disease is having on his writing.

He said that he still finds it quite easy to 'turn a phrase', but revealed he has been forced to abandon typing in favour of a speech-to-text computer programme.

© W&G Foyle Ltd
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