Procrastination II

I don’t know if he has a specific name for the phenomenon, but Jasper fforde at Crimefest 2014 mentioned something about the possibilities of time travel to muck about with the present. I’ll get to details in a minute, but I think he’s onto something.

His premise, if I remember correctly, is that something – anything – you might imagine, will be invented some time in the future, along with the aforementioned time travel.Why must edits be so easy to put off?

And all you have to do is imagine using the thing you’ve imagined, knowing that someone in the future will invent it, and will go back in time to share this invention with history.

It’s a peculiar sort of logic that only works within Mr fforde’s particular Universe.

But I think many of us who write novels have a similar sort of logic going on with a Work In Progress…

We can imagine the finished work, shining/matte cover and gilded spine (or perfectly-formatted ebook). And because we can imagine what the novel will be like, we forget that there’s a lot of work involved before we get to that hold-it-in-your-hand moment.

I am having something of an episode of this phenomenon at the moment…

I blame the macaroons.

Published in: on July 16, 2014 at 12:00 am  Comments (4)  


  1. Sadly, you’re spot on. What? I have to write, and revise? Listen to criticism? That must be a sad jest! Sigh.

    I will go pick up my green pen to write the hopeful words in green ink, words that do not discern the red pen waiting to strike them through their hearts!

    • Writing is fine. Revision is a chore, though. I never understood Robert Graves when he said it was his favourite part of writing…

  2. But it’s sort of true: all we have to do is imagine the novel, really imagine it, then just write it down for the future and, lo!, there it is.

    Currently awaiting the proofs for my next novel. The tracking says it’s with the courier, so it’s travelling through space, if not time, towards me.

    • But that’s the fun part! The imagination soars, the words flow onto the page, and then it all goes horribly wrong…
      (I am trying to drum up enthusiasm to finish edits on the third Vita Tugwell silly steampunk story. There are another four waiting to be written…)

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