Fourth Wish : Day 1

(The start of a regular series of posts – a writer’s diary – recording the progress of my third novel for teenagers.)

meu mundo 448The first thing to say about Day 1 is that Day 1 isn’t Day 1.

By the time I typed the first sentence of the first draft of The Fourth Wish the idea for the novel had been in my head for several months and forming scribbles in a (new, shiny) notebook for several weeks. The notebook has a picture of an old-fashioned racing car on the cover. I can think of no sport I like less than motor racing.
I mention this for no reason.

This story, like all my other novels, began with a “what if?”
In this case:
1. What if a teenager was granted three wishes?

The notion of three wishes is obviously rooted deeper than that – in my childhood, probably, with Christmas trips to the panto – but I’m not about to start digging there for the true Day 1.

Anyway, the first question gave rise to others:
2. How, or by whom, are the three wishes granted?
3. What does the teenager wish for?
4. And why?
5. What happens then?
. . . and most importantly of all:
6. Who is the teenager?

Because, until I know him or her (her, it turns out) how can I answer questions 3 and 4 – or hope to write the novel at all, for that matter?

Me, having an idea.

Me, having ideas.

The second thing to say about Day 1 is that, truly speaking, this is Day 1 of my blog-of-the-novel. Day 1 of the novel was last Monday, March 25th.

So, in fact, this is Day 7.

Don’t ask how many words I’ve produced so far. I don’t believe in keeping a *word count while I’m writing a first draft. It can be distracting, demoralising.
Or falsely encouraging.

Here is a sneak preview of the opening lines of The Fourth Wish:

You won’t believe a word of this.
I don’t blame you. I wouldn’t believe it either, if it hadn’t happened to me.

The first thing to say about the opening lines of a first draft is that they may not end up being the opening lines of the finished novel.

My main concern at this stage, though, is that I will spend too much time writing the blog-of-the-novel and not enough time writing the novel. If that happens, you’ll be the first to know.

from The Book of Ruminations, by Qi Tinh (151 – 203 AD)
Finally, for now, I’d like to share some ancient words of wisdom from a curious, dog-eared tome I discovered in the Spirituality section of the

Qi Tinh, ruminating

Qi Tinh, ruminating

bookshelves of a charity shop and which, according to the blurb, “unravels a philosophical ball of string to guide us through the labyrinth of our creativity”.

Traveller: Where does my journey begin, oh Great Sage?
Great Sage: It begins with you.
Traveller: Where, then, does my journey end?
Great Sage: It ends where it began.

*2945

3 Responses to Fourth Wish : Day 1

  1. On March 31, 2013 Josie said:

    The notebook sounds fantastic Martyn, and I can’t wait for the novel to be completed so I can read it!

  2. On April 2, 2013 Peter Cordwell said:

    As a lapsed teenager, I’m looking forward to both, the book and the blog.I think we should all put our wishes down to add to your ideas, Martyn, not that you seem to need any other ideas. Mine would be to be whisked back to the sermon on the mount. As a Peter, it’s always troubled me that Peter denied Him three times. I hate to think I would have done the same but that’s a special kind of courage. Good luck with it all, Martyn, but again you don’t seem to need it. Where does that kind of certainty, as displayed above, come from, mate?

  3. On April 3, 2013 Mandy S said:

    Very interesting, Martyn. You may CLAIM that the pic of the old fashioned racing car is totally meaningless, but…

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