Oh dear; I've just realised that the way the blog format is, you'll have to read my book backwards. For example, if you're reading this first you won't have any idea that it's Chapter Two of a book I'm writing because I announced that in the post below. That means that if this book is to succeed, I'll have to write the last chapter first! So when you finally get to the last chapter, which will actually be way, way on top of this one, THAT will actually be the FIRST chapter. Why don't these blog people think of these things?
How tiresome. That means I'd literally have to write the entire book offline and then post it in its entirety.
There is only one way to avoid that supreme annoyance: make no chapter contingent upon anything that happened in the previous chapter. In other words, to make each chapter entirely self-contained. To have none of it depend on ANY OTHER chapter. There would be no characters, except myself, that had been mentioned in other chapters that you would be expected to be familiar with.
Whew! That makes my life easy. Except at the beginning of each chapter I'd have to mention all this, so someone who was coming in in the middle of the book wouldn't get confused. Well, I'll try to find a way around that. Meanwhile, looky-here! I've almost written an entire chapter about writing a chapter! This book can definitely say that it is "writing itself!"
But even a book typed by a chimpanzee and edited by a bonobo should somehow be readable. That is to say, if I reduced the potboiler "Alabaman Politics: the First Hundred Years" to the ones and zeros they would first need to be made into in order to become digital, and then LEFT THE BOOK THAT WAY, yes, it might be fascinating to an assembly-language compiler, indeed, to the degree that the compiler might not be able to put the book down, so to speak, but once into the third or fourth paragraphs of ones and zeros even Tolstoy would throw up his hands and groan exasperatedly "Yes, but where is the hero? Every book needs a hero . . !!!" . . . and he'd be right.
But is that true? Can a book be leaderless, rudderless, storyless, character-free, issue-free, message-free, content-free and yet still be a book? Need a book be a collection of pages? Can a book only be ONE PAGE? Can a book be one paragraph, repeated over 200 pages in 200 different typefaces?
I guess a book is anything anyone agrees with anyone else to call a book. In other words, just one person holding up something that consists of paper declaring that it is a book does NOT MAKE IT A BOOK.
However, if several (meaning an amorphous blob of "uncountable" individuals) people get together in some fashion and agree that it is a book, then it is a book.
Here, in fact, is an online "definition" of a book:
"A written or printed work consisting of pages glued or sewn together along one side and bound in covers."
Good. So all I have to do is print this out and put it between covers and say that I wrote it and it will BE A BOOK.
Just for the record, this was once Chapter Two.