The air was thick with cigar smoke and the deep, rich tones of the cello. In one corner, an emaciated poet leaned his elbow against the piano, declaiming his latest work to a rapt audience. In another, a small group talked of the coming revolution, eager to speak their minds in such an enlightened atmosphere, without fear of the ever-listening ears.
Our intrepid author lounged on a couch, pen in hand as she worked through the second draft of her latest novel. “If only I could get published,” she lamented to her sister, whose eyes were fixed upon the cellist. “I would so love to share my experiences of writing with the literary world, after the fashion of my most admired illustrious authors, but I fear no-one would want to read the musings of an amateur writer such as myself.”
“ Nonsense,” her sister responded. “For have you not penned many an unread novel? And are there not scores of unpublished writers out there looking for like-minded souls? After all, it can be a little… demoralising, to only read of authors who have already achieved your goals.”
“Too true!” Alice declared, knocking back another shot of absinthe.
“But what would you write about?” a fellow author asked.
“Why, anything and everything!” Alice answered. “All the things we discuss in this salon, but committed to print for a wider audience! I simply don’t know where to begin! I could reveal what I’ve learnt through years of trial and error, and review different methods of plotting and characterisation. I might review some books as well, and perhaps write about how my current novelling efforts are going.” She looked down at little sadly at her forever-unfinished second draft.
“I would read it,” Alice’s sister said, although her eyes never left the cellist.
“So would I,” said their fellow author.
“Well then,” said Alice, “I shall begin.”