One paragraph down, about a billion to go

I made a start on my new nov­el today. I spent most of the after­noon scratch­ing around my research pile, down­load­ing demos of scene-plot­ting soft­ware (con­clu­sion: there isn’t much out there), until I decided that I could either research the book for the next two years or just sit down and write the bloody thing.

Inspired by Debra Hamel’s TwitterLit ser­vice, here’s the first sen­tence:

The time trav­el­ler was being fol­lowed.

Author: Ian Hocking

Writer and psychologist.

9 thoughts on “One paragraph down, about a billion to go”

  1. Sounds good so far! What say I post this on TwitterLit at 5:00 A.M. on this date in 2010? That’ll give you three years to get it writ­ten and in print.

  2. Okay, I’ve just signed up with futureme.org. Both of us are get­ting an email on 11/1/2010 to remind us of the TwitterLit entry.

    Let’s see how fast that flies by.

    (I sup­pose there’s a poten­tial for the email to be depress­ing when it comes in.…)

  3. Research! Arrrrgghhh!!! I have a (shelved) Roman his­tor­ic­al nov­el, the research for which sent me almost barmy. I couldn’t write more than a dozen words without going to research some obscure detail about Roman life — par­tic­u­larly any­thing that some thread-counter would pick up and berate me with (‘they weren’t wear­ing Lorica Segmenta for anoth­er 10 years!!!…)

    My cur­rent solu­tion is to write “research WW2 ammo dump” etc, with big stars around it; keep push­ing for­ward. Even ‘say some­thing clev­er here’.… though there’s a cer­tain amount of research I need to do for the premise.

    As for time and writ­ing — you need a cer­tain amount of time with your head in the story, for it to evolve. You do need to carve that space out.

  4. Thanks for your com­ment, pomo house­wife. You’re right about research, I think — it’s best to crash on. And I too have writ­ten ‘put some­thing clev­er in here’ — and yet nev­er seem to 🙂

  5. That first sen­tence is a crack­er. It’s going to be well-nigh impossible to keep up that stand­ard for the rest of the nov­el

    No, I’m only jok­ing. It is a great first sen­tence. Just get the rest of it down any way you can. The art comes in shap­ing the res­ult­ing rub­bish into the fine nov­el you know you can write. Just like a pot­ter with a lump of clay.

    Oh, and have some fun too along the way, will you. You’re about to embark upon a great chal­lenge, an adven­ture filled with dif­fi­culties. I envy you.

  6. Thanks, Pundy! I’ll try to keep the stand­ard up 🙂

    Aye, tis a beau­ti­ful jour­ney, and it’ll be a shame to get to the end of the nov­el and find that it isn’t quite as beau­ti­ful as its poten­tial was.

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