This is a work of fiction. A short story of just over 400 words.
Adam stared at the keys of the typewriter for perhaps the hundredth time that morning. The paper curled in the roller above had been blank since it had been inserted, seven days earlier. Not a single typed character marked its pristine whiteness. The new ribbon, carefully wound in place at the same time, waited patiently for its first assignment. Stretching his arms above his head, Adam settled his position in the smart new office chair. His fingers hovered over the keys, and he stared at them once again.
So much greatness had come from these three lines of jumbled letters. They had helped some to win The Booker Prize, and others The Pulitzer. Poems that had made grown men shed tears, and books that had given hope to those in despair. They had recorded historical events, ended love affairs, and noted scientific advances.
And he couldn’t manage one sentence.
To gain inspiration, Adam checked his notes once more. List of chapters, principal characters, places and time-line. He knew the beginning, the middle, and the end. Off by heart. All he needed to do now was to flesh it out, breathe life into the people and places he recognised so well in his imagination. He had gone over it enough times, after all. In his mind, he could see the finished book, the last page, the dedication. He even had the book-jacket photograph picked out, and had written the short blurb to accompany publication.
Time for lunch.
It was undoubtedly inadvisable to drink two large glasses of claret with his reheated lasagna. The afternoon was a blur, interrupted by having to go out onto the small balcony for numerous cigarette breaks. That’s what he got for marrying a non-smoker. He doubted that Hemingway ever had to leave the typewriter to smoke. Thinking about it, did Hemingway actually smoke? The thought preoccupied him. He would have to look that up somewhere. Maybe he was thinking of Orwell. There was a writer who enjoyed a cigarette.
Before he knew it, it was approaching five. Adam became flustered. Sherry would be home just after six, ready for her white wine before the meal that he hadn’t even started to prepare. She would be full of tales about this and that in the office. What she said to him, after he had said that to her. He went over to the desk and placed the cover over his typewriter. Time to start dinner.
He would get back to that book tomorrow.