“Hello. I’m the first line of your novel.”

Last week, whilst at a Jazz festival with friends, I was hit with a line, a phrase, a sentence. Somehow it managed to stick in my mind, mutating, growing, digging itself into the part of my brain that ought to be reserved for PHP and PHP alone.

“Hello,” it said to me after six days of maturation. “I’m the first line of your novel.”

“Nice to meet you,” I said. “Tell me about yourself, future novel.”

“I’m chick lit. Or at least more female-focused-fiction than you’re used to, Ms. John-le-Carre-and-Patrick-O’Brian-are-my-favourite-authors.”

This is where I spat out my tea and wondered if my painkillers were a lot stronger than my GP said they were (swing dancing accident–water, concrete and two enthusiastic lindy hoppers don’t mix particularly well. I didn’t break anything, thankfully).

Nope, they aren’t. It’s just the story that needs to be told.

I haven’t been able to write fiction for months, not since I arrived in Edinburgh. Whether it was the change of scenery, the stress of coursework or a general reprogramming of the brain, fiction slipped to the backburner in favour of my recording everyday life, the adventures and the misadventures.

Turns out, though, that my opening line, combined with fodder from my day-to-day-life would make for a potentially hilarious, snarky and above all, entertaining book on life and love in the 21st century. Or some other cliche. Regardless, I’m excited to start writing…but why does the Muse need to return when I’m up to my ears in coursework?

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8 thoughts on ““Hello. I’m the first line of your novel.”

  1. It always happens like that for me too… indefinable something just pops up.. usually at an inconvenient time… I think you’ve captured that moment exactly and I’m sure many writers would be familiar with what you describe so well in this blog.

    1. Fortunately for me, I tend to get more productive the more deadlines/stress I have. Hopefully I’ll be able to throw the novel drafting into the mix.

      I’m really excited about this one.

    1. She’s like a wizard, neither early nor late, but arriving precisely when she means to. Often throwing things off for the author. 🙂

  2. Your first lines are so polite. Mine are more, “Write me!”

    “But I’m in the middle of something else.”

    “I SAID WRITE MEEEE!

    And so on and so forth. 😉

    1. Mine are polite yet terribly persistent. They don’t comprehend the ‘I’m doing a degree I do not have time for you’ thing, which is rather endearing. 🙂

  3. Isn’t that always the way it works. I spent a several weeks working on plotting, character etc. for a Fantasy short story idea I had. I excitedly sat down to begin writing, and a pulp detective novel came out instead. Damn you Calliope or whichever one of your sisters thought this might be good for a laugh.

    1. Happens to me all the time!
      That being said, now that I’m determined to write this chick lit story, I’ll bet it will turn out to be a pulpy detective story. Which may, in fact, be rather awesome. 🙂

      And thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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