Thursday, March 12, 2015

Terry Pratchett 1948 - 2015

It was with real, geniune sadness that I heard of the death of Terry Pratchett today.

When I was 12 years old, and dumb as a sack of hammers, I wrote to Terry. I told him I wanted to be a writer just like him, and asked all sorts of stupid questions.

He wrote back. I got a four page reponse on Great A'Tuin headed paper. He answered all my stupid questions, and wrapped it all up in a mix of sage advice and encouragement.

Time has moved on. I'm hopefully a little less stupid. I even published a book...but I still want to be a writer just like my hero Terry.

I don't give praise easily. I don't often gush. I'm cynical and I'm generally an overly-critical, jaded human being. I tell you this so you know how sincere I am when I say Sir Terry Pratchett was a genuine literary genius. His work literally shaped my life. His work had a hand in everything from my writing style to my overall sense of humor.

As simply as I can put it. The world is a better place because Terry Pratchett lived in it.

I could go on for hours about how funny he was, how he mixed comedy, fantasy, sci-fi, satire in a package that shouldn't have worked, but just did... but what I loved most about Terry's work is that he had that extremely rare ability to make you forget that you were reading.

As an English student, by habit I pick apart everything I read. I enjoy the story, but I always notice where a sentence structure was a little awkward. Where the foreshadowing was a little heavy handed. Where a plot point was left unresolved or where a writer got a little self-indulgent.

With Terry's work that never happened. His writing style was flawless to the point where you just forget you're looking at words on a page, and the story, the scene, the characters just slip effortlessly from the page and into your imagination.

I thought about ending this with a quote. The problem was there are just too many to choose from, so the only real way I can think to end this is this:

Thank you, Terry. Thank you for the stories. Thank you for the universes you created...but most of all, thank you for taking the time to answer a stupid 12 year old's stupid questions. 


Sunny said...
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Sunny said...

What a heartfelt tribute! I have tried reading Mr. Pratchetts works, but there was only one I could even half understand. My mind doesn't seem to have the ability to recognise his writing style in a way I can sit and read it as effortlessly as many of my friends can. I couldn't read Tolkien either, though.(Notice I actually spelled that word out in tribute to a great writer instead of shortening it to my preferred "tho".)
I know he was a genius writer in his style and will be greatly missed by his millions of loyal fans.
My condolences to you all. xx