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.

Published by

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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