Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Lit Critter

I've just finished writing the first chapter of my new novel - as yet untitled - and it's definitely a bit of a curate's egg, even to my paternal eye.

The good news is that I managed to insert my first joke by the sixth paragraph. That's one more joke than I managed in the whole of A Half Life Of One. Since it's meant to be a humorous novel you can guess how relieved I was to get that hurdle over with.

The bad news really emanates from the fact that (so far) the central character is sixty years old. He makes an unintentional joke about Gogol. Of course if he (or me for that matter because the hero so far is a thinly-disguised version of myself) was younger and more more in tune with contemporary mores he'd be cracking jokes about Google, not Gogol.

When I re-read what I'd written I suddenly realised how old-fashioned I'd become. My only hope is that the humour really is timeless. To make matters worse I began to experience the unmistakeable feeling that what I might be doing is creating a new fiction genre, one that is unlikely to surpass Chick Lit in the Amazon sales rankings.

Grandad lit, anyone?


  1. Anonymous5:28 pm

    I guess you know that Google itself is an error? They meant to call it Googol but did not know how to spell it, so Google it became. My Dad and people of his ilk always called it (and pronouced it) Googol.
    I wonder if you can get that in as a sort of secondary (or tertiary) joke? Not that I have any sense of humour at all, but from your post I can see that it is a serious business, writing funnies, so evey my sad help may be welcome, if you are really desperate.

  2. Exciting news, Bill. Your coven of sycophants has been waiting for this. I wouldn't worry too much about genre or considerations of age--if you think something's funny, it very likely is. You've proven this time and again in these columns. Just make yourself laugh.

    Easy, right?

  3. Grandad Lit...? Well you never know, Bill, especially if it's Dirty Old Grandad Lit...
    I have often found that humour sneaks into some of my writing, but when I try to write it, you can rest assured it never works!
    Good luck and just have fun with it.

  4. Old Git lit? Twit lit? Doesn't matter really as long as it's fresh.

  5. Hahahahaha - see? It works for me ...