Saturday, January 1

A first novel: The first words

In my high school newspaper, I was quoted saying that I had made no New Year's resolutions as I believed that self-improvement was a constant project with neither end nor beginning. To reduce it to a list written on a single day was ridiculous.

I believe the same still today yet I find myself on the first day of the first month of this new year having begun something of a resolution. I have written the first words of my first novel. One thousand and seventy-six words have been typed, displayed on a screen and saved to my flash drive. I have no idea. how many words will follow. I have no idea how long before they are all assembled and groomed. But two hours a day, one thousand words a day, I will find out.

The idea came to me this summer. I wrote it down and saved it in August that I would not forget it. I promised in November to begin writing it in the new year, giving myself the rest of the month and all of December to discover the greater cast of characters and the beginnings of their vanities and ambitions and to finish some other writing work and not leave it half finished. The latter half of that has not gone as well, two short stories still well in progress and the end not so distant from them that it will be easy to push them to the side. The former half of that promise has not gone so well either, amounting to a few lines of scribbled notes for the five members of the Lochilangor family and an awareness of the dominant thrust of the story, but to know the names of the characters, their desires and motivations, and where all this will lead them, is a lot to begin with, even if I still have no idea of their ultimate fates.

My hope is that this chronicle of writing my first novel becomes a regular series on this blog. In its higher moments, I hope that it share the process of creating a novel and become a sort of companion to other writers, allowing them to see my challenges and victories and to know that they are not alone in their struggles in beginning and ending their own works. In its lower moments, I hope merely that the promise to write this series once a week and share my progress with you is motivation enough to keep me writing everyday.

What it will not be is a summary of the creative work. I do not like to talk about my work in progress as my wish is that people who may read it come to it without expectations and are surprised by what they find, but I do not wish either to be unnecessarily evasive in my writing, so allow me to share this at the beginning. The tentative title is The Subber. It is set in contemporary Kenya. It is about passion, responsibility, ambition, family, escape and all the rest. It's going to be amazing.

I hope you enjoy this journey as much as I.

1 comment:

Don said...

Hi Chris, congrats on attempting your first novel. It sounds fairly ambitious given your other responsibilities, so good luck. I hope that you don't entirely abandon your blogging as Theo and I do enjoy reading them to see what your inquisitive mind is up to. Again, good luck and stay posted. One of your fans and FIL, Don