Neil Gaiman (10 Nov 1960) is an English journalist and writer whose works range from comic books to short stories, scripts, novels, and biographies. Influenced by big names such as Tolkien, Alan Moore, and Ursula K. Le Guin, Gaiman published his first work, Featherquest, when he was only 24. With countless awards under his belt, Gaiman doesn’t show signs of slowing down, to his fans (myself included) delight.
I discovered him a few years ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Here are five reasons why I recommend his works:
1. He’s an excellent model for struggling writers
In his decades-long creative career, he’s done pretty much everything: from writing the Sandman comic series, which will soon be adapted by Netflix, to penning countless short stories and novels. He’s a gifted and hardworking storyteller whose efforts know no limits.
I wholeheartedly recommend his short story collections. Trigger Warning was my favorite, its contents ranging from chilling poems to twisted fairytales and fanfiction. Yes, you read that right – fanfiction. Gaiman has written Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who-inspired stories that won prestigious awards. He’s the living proof that passion and creativity are a winning combination.
2. His works are eclectic
Neil Gaiman’s writing is a mix of childhood nightmares, genres, twisted myths, and hope. Some of his ideas shocked me because they weren’t like anything I’ve ever read before, such as the short story titled Murder Mysteries. His style is generally easy to follow, but the hidden meaning will stay with you a long while after putting the book down. Neil Gaiman’s writing feels fresh because he’s always experimenting, luring you into a multifaceted world.
This article wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Good Omens, a feel-good novel co-written with the late Sir Terry Pratchett in 1990. Chaotic and witty, it tells the story of how the world was saved by the Antichrist itself, despite an Angel and a Demon’s efforts to help him. Good Omens convinced me to read more of Gaiman’s work; therefore, it has a special place on my shelf and in my heart.
3. He’s great with fans
Not only he regularly posts on Instagram, but Neil Gaiman interacts with his fans as much as possible. He has praised cosplayers who took inspiration from his characters on Twitter and has taken part in lovely discussions about his projects. What’s even cooler is that he’s active on Tumblr as well. His account is open to Asks, and he provides thoughtful replies regarding the writing process, which are a delightful read. When it comes to social media, Neil Gaiman is just a tag or ask away, and I think it’s great that he devotes so much time to people who support him. He’s both a remarkable writer and a genuinely lovely person.
4. He has a unique voice – literally
It might sound weird, but one of the first things I notice about people is their voices. Gaiman has a very expressive voice that can go anywhere from cheerful to soothing. He has read some of his shorter works, and he has been on David Tennant’s podcast – the man’s a delight to listen to!
He also has a Masterclass on writing worth checking out. I’ve found it helpful in terms of finding one’s unique voice, outlining the plot, and understanding the characters. There is also a guide full of creative exercises, so you might want to give them a try!
5. You can enjoy Neil Gaiman’s works on the screen too
Gaiman was heavily involved in the adaptation of American Gods into a three-seasons show. It was a delightful mix of old and new gods, stunning visuals, and remarkable acting.
He also wrote the screenplay for the Good Omens (2019) adaptation (review here), starring Sam Taylor Buck, Michael Sheen, and David Tennant. It is easily in my top five favorite shows ever thanks to its faithful to the novel storytelling, stellar cast, and Killer Queen soundtrack (that’s a brilliant pun, trust me!). Also, who could resist a story which involves pirates, aliens, angels, demons, and prophecies? It’s a messy melange that works out somehow, telling a beautiful story of hope, unity, and love.
I hope you’ve found this article informative and that you’ll give Neil Gaiman a chance. Who knows, he might become your new favorite writer! If you are already familiar with his works, let me know which one is your favorite!