I took a sheet of paper, pristine and creamy, placed it just so, and dipped my quill, excitement thrumming in my fingers.
I closed my eyes in reflex, then opened them again. Where ought I to begin?
Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop. The line from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland drifted through my mind, and I smiled. Good advice, I supposed – but only if you happened to know where the beginning was, and I didn’t quite.
I twiddled the quill a bit, thinking.
Perhaps I should have an outline? That seemed sensible — and a little less daunting than starting straight in to write. I lowered the quill and held it poised above the paper for a moment, then picked it up again. An outline would have a beginning, too, wouldn’t it?
The ink was beginning to dry on the point. Rather crossly, I wiped it and was just about to dip it again, when the maid scratched discreetly at the door.
Diana Gabaldon, An Echo in the Bone, Chapter 74