June 27, 2019

early rules for an eventual novel


To let the book ferment in my head for years and years before I actually start writing it.

Write a little bit, think a lot, write a little bit more.

“I hated the idea that there can be such a thing as a masterpiece and I hated the fact that I wanted to try to write one.”

A novel with many storylines, many loose ends dangling – and some of the loose ends are tied up, some are partly resolved to varying degrees, and some are left dangling – so as you continue to read you are always unsure which storylines will be completed and which will be left incomplete.

A novel about kindness and tenderness.

A satire of a novel about environmental collapse.

Trying to write a really long book.

The world needs people. (Or at least it used to. Perhaps what it needs now is in fact considerably less people.)

This isn’t science fiction therefore we don’t need to explain how the kittens first develop telepathy.

I didn’t invent sex.

When she was young she of course wanted to be famous.

A novel without a single protagonist, with so many protagonists it’s impossible to keep count.

A story about how millennia ago evil magicians planted oil deep in the earth so that it would someday be discovered and destroy humanity.

Never again: ripped from the headlines. No more: ripped from the headlines.

Letting ideas percolate in my head for many years before eventually writing them down.

“I think I will eventually write another book, someday, but I’m not working on anything at the moment and have no immediate plans to do so.”

I thought I would try to write about the emotional complexity of sex, which isn’t necessarily something I know very much about.

A person who sets up a museum in their home.

A horse that climbs into a boat.

Reading a non-fiction book and encountering a minor character, a character mentioned only in passing, but who is clearly portrayed as despicable, and then gradually realizing the character is based on you.

Being a public figure whose private life does not match up with their public image. The fear of being exposed or being blackmailed.

Spending years trying to find your idol, finding him, at which point he attempts to scam you out of money.

Not actually writing a novel, but fantasizing about writing a novel.

“I never found out if that book actually existed.”

“Climate change is so interesting because it, more so than other crises, reveals the neoliberal demand for "individual responsibility" as being an ideology whose sole function is to protect the ruling class from collective action.”

[Bonus: you can find my possible first attempt at the possible first chapter here.]


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