As writers, we all know how difficult it is to start a story sometimes. You’ve got this fantastic idea, it’s wonderful, its original, it’s epic…okay maybe the last is an exaggeration, but it’s not without hope. We’re ready to write, pen in hand or fingers on the keys, but the blank page stares back, hauntingly so.
I think that was part of the reason I put off writing Shift for so long. I had an outline, I had my idea’s, but I was nervous I’d get to this blank page and, well, draw a blank. I’m proud of Exiled. I really am. But I want the sequel to surpass it on a personal level. I need it to be better. More action packed, more character development, more plot lines, answer questions while creating new ones, but I feared that first page.
Well this weekend I sat down and hammered out the first chapter. I faced the nerves and went to work. But then something happened. The fear vanished. I read what I wrote and I loved it. I slept on it, woke up, had some coffee and read it again. Still loved it. So I got my wife to read it.
I watched her impatiently as she devoured the pages in what seemed like hours but in reality was minutes. I waited, she turned to me and said, “I love it. Amazing.” Whew!
That was it. That was all I needed. Now I’m really ready to get back to work. This book will be better, it will be more exciting, it’ll thicken the series plot and hopefully make for a luscious sequel.
My point? Well, I’m not sure if I have a legitimate one but if I did it’d be to face your fears. Sometimes that blank page can be scary but here’s the thing: you don’t have to commit to that first page, you only have to write it. After that is when the real work begins anyways. Revising, editing, rewriting, editing, beta readers, editing…did I say editing?
What I’m saying is sometimes you spend more energy stressing about how a story will start than actually starting it, when in reality, you need to spit some words on a page and make it work later. For now, get your idea on paper, whether the physical or digital kind doesn’t matter, just get it out of your head and into words!