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.


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