Page One

I spent my spare time over the past month or so compiling a loose outline of the first part of Project Glyph, but then, at the eleventh hour, decided not to write that one yet. So, alongside Project Bayonet, I’ll be writing Project Wishbone, the actual writing of which I started yesterday. This, like Glyph, will be another YA fantasy novel, albeit set firmly in this world; a necessarily different book in tone, POV and content, to Bayonet

I wrote longhand on three pages of a large Moleskine Reporter’s Sketch Book, with a variety of pens, both trying to find my way into the story, and into some nib-and-ink action that works for me, and the paper. One of the perennial grumps about Moleskine products is the quality of the stuff that’s actually receiving the words. It tends to be on the thin side, which, if you prefer to write with a fountain pen (honestly… if you’re going to write a novel, put the Bics and the HBs away) means dealing with the possibility of feathering and bleed. No, not the name of a Victorian crime-fighting duo <makes note>, but the dispersal of ink around the letters and/or through the page. I can deal with a bit of feathering, but not bleed. If I’ve paid good money for a notebook, I want to be able to use all of it, not just a sequence of single sides. Which is why I plumped for the sketch version, thinking that the paper would be of a better quality. If it is, it’s not by much.

I started off with the Moleskinerie’s pen of choice, a Pilot G-2 0.7mm in black.

No feathering, no bleed. A very comfortable page. But hey, it’s not a fountain pen. On page two I used a Sheaffer (or, as they were called back then, Sheaffer’s) from the 1940s with a thin nib dipped in Herbin’e Encre Vert Olive (is this stationery porn doing it for you?).

Hardly any feathering. Slight bleed. A slim bog-standard Parker next, medium nib, that happened to contain the same ink.

No different, although on the obverse, bleed had increased. I reckon that if I use my fountain pen of preference – the Sheaffer Targa – bleed will become even more pronounced, as its medium nib writes smooth and wet.

And if you think this is nothing but a ridiculous example of displacement activity, you’re absolutely right. At least, these days, I’m not cleaning the oven with a toothbrush…

Forgive me the secrecy regarding the actual novel titles (I have decided what they are, by the way). I’ll explain my reasons in a later post.

So, having determined to write two books at the same time, on day one I only managed 586 words of Wishbone. Yes, yes, it might have been more if I hadn’t been fannying around with pens and ink. I hear you, okay? The blank page is blank no more. Onward.

Listened to: Anna Calvi

Watched: 127 Hours

Reading: Saturday, by Ian McEwan

Anticipating: The Islanders, by Christopher Priest; Pearlant, by M John Harrison


3 thoughts on “Page One

  1. One pen for I can recommend for usage in a Moleskine – and a fountain pen it’s not – is the Uni Pin Fine Line – 0.3.

    Its ink is soaked up by the paper beautifully, and there’s almost a moment when you finish a word you think it’s going to bleed given the take up, but it doesn’t at all. Thus you get beautifully formed words, speedy writing, and all tidily presented.

    I have a blank paged Moleskine my folks brought me a while back that doesn’t get used much (I hate the blank pages) and it doesn’t have the absorption issues of their lined notebooks. It’s almost like presentation board pages. That baby let you use paintbrushes to write your words.

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