The Infamous Blank Page: Where’s The Love?

Posted by on Sep 22, 2011 in Uncategorized | 5 comments

Since last week’s Thursday post was a pretty positive one, I don’t really need to counter it, but, I did mention something in it that I’d like to talk a little more about.

The Blank Page.

OooOoooOoooOoo <---Scary Sound I know a lot of writers struggle with this. A new project. The beginning. Something new that has no foundation. Where to start? Usually at the beginning! I have some serious love for the blank page. Me and the blank page, we tight. There’s nothing more exciting to me than a blank page. It’s an endless opportunity. There are no grammar or spelling problems. No plot holes, major or minor. Flat and unoriginal characters are non-existant. The possibilities for: unbelievable, blow your hair back, incredibly original, and all-time epic story, are right in front of you. All you have to do is start. And “Once upon a time.” and “It was a dark and stormy night.” Don’t count…usually.

So you’ve got this great idea, you think you know who your characters are, or maybe you only know the main character. You know his main conflict, and you can envision the ending. You know exactly where this story needs to go. The problem? How do I get it there.

The ending for me is the hardest part to write. I have all this awesomesauce to piece together and I don’t want to under perform. The middle sometimes takes some work, but the beginning. That’s where it’s at.
You’ve only got a few pages to grab a reader and make them want more. Don’t count on the 20% sample an eBook offers you. You get 5 pages. That’s my opinion. If I pick up a book and it doesn’t capture me in 5 pages, I’m ready to do something else. I don’t always go do something else, but if your first 5 pages are good, chances are you have me for the entire book, even if it veers off track a little.

When I’m writing the beginning, I’ll start anywhere. Maybe I think it’s the beginning, but during edits, I realize my original beginning is actually chapter 4, and there is a bunch more that needs to happen first. No problem, this is a first draft. This is the “let your hair down and rock and roll all night long,” part. There are no rules in the first draft, no limitations, nothing holding you back. Just open your mind, type the keys and unleash the insanity that is your epic imagination.

BUT…

You cant…

Writers block before a story even begins? What’s that about?

This happens. I know this, but the most important part to remember is…and say it with me: “It’s just, the first, draft!” There we go. One more time. I’ll wait here.




Okay’ we’re back. So, where were we? Oh, right!

If’ you need “It was a dark and stormy night,” or “Once upon a time there was a monster, he was bad, then he was good, these are the days of his lives,” to start, than do it! Nobody needs to see this but you.

Don’t fear the blank page, own it. You’re the creator of possibly current, but definitely future epicness. Use that to your advantage and rock the face of that blank page. Muddle it with black ink and words that are too big for you to use. Talk about your bruting main character and how the world is against him, but he deserved it, cause long ago he was evil and killed a plethora (yes I just used that word) of small villages, but now he wants redemption before his fate is sealed and his immortality fades away because he fell in love and the curse is broken. Too much? NEVER!

Over exagurate the descriptions and tell me about the small mouse that lives in your bedroom wall that constantly comes out an mocks your emo main character, but he can never catch him before he disappears back into his burrow, because he’s slow, has no friends, and he life’s desire is slowly fading away. It has nothing to with your story? Who cares? This is the first draft!

The blank page is your first step into another world. Your world. The one you’re going to create any minute now! Don’t fear starting the wrong way, becuase there is no wrong way. There is only the beginning of something you’ll edit, revise, edit, revise, tear up in frustration, then go back and try to tape back together so you can revise and try again.

Don’t be scared of the blank page. The blank page is your friend. It’s the only part of your story that has no barriers, no rules, no top speed.

Today’s point is brought to my U, U, and U:

When it comes to the blank page, nothing is holding it back but you. So don’t okay?

    5 Comments

  1. I always have a moment's pause when I see a blank page. It's kind of like a world is opening before me and I have to pause to take a breath before I plunge into it. After that moment, I'm good to go.

  2. The blank page and I are usually mortal enemies, lol I usually start by typing “I hate blank pages, and since this is no longer blank…..Let me tell you of a story…”

    hehe, usually my flow can start from there 🙂

    Lovely post, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us 🙂

    Lisa

  3. Patrcia – I take a breath too before I leap into the unknown. It's never enough LOL.

    Lola – Perfect! Exactly my point! Whatever it takes to get started. 🙂

  4. I'm having the blank page issue at this very moment. How did you know I needed that? 😀

  5. If I'm having trouble getting something on that blank page, something's wrong.

    I was recently struck by a big-time “This is so cool!” idea—in the story world that I'm not working on, of course. I've jotted notes for it, but I have very little actually written out…

    And I realized I have a cool situation and format for it, but no story yet.

    This is actually a fairly common problem for me. If I'm stuck when planning something, I probably have a situation instead of a story. And if I'm stuck later on, something's wrong, either something that's happened or how I'm approaching a scene.

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