19 April

Fear of the Blank Page...


Fear of the Blank Page...
Solution: Don't look at that page until you've already drafted something out in your mind.
Simple-dimple. Easy-peasy. Donesco. Duh!
The panster mentality will take you places you don't want to go as a writer of competent and completed works. 
Sure, it's exciting, thrilling, to sit down and decide to let your gray cells take you on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, but it'll be gross once you get dizzy with confusion, and you end up barfing all over your cotton candy because you didn't prepare for the ride by packing a barf bag.
Okay, gross and clumsy metaphor.
Hey, it's Monday. I liken Mondays to barfing...
Fun Fact: Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond series, used to suntan on his beach in Jamaica and mentally draft out a completed Bond book before he ever wandered up to his cabin, fixed a pitcher of martinis, and got to work typing out the tale.
Yes, genres like thriller/romance/mystery are plot recipe-driven, so nowhere near the complexity of, say, literary or historical works, but he was correct in completing this exercise, easy or not. 
**It's the only way your brain will tell your fingers what to write.** Fact.
What's the point of sitting down to write when you have nothing yet to write about???
I've not scientifically gauged this, but I think my conjuring up a story vs. actually writing out the story is about 90% to 10%. A TON of ruminating on the plot and the characters and the motivation and the obstacles takes place in my head before I ever even write out my scene cards, never mind actually pounding the keys.
Long works are not like flash fiction or short stories. It takes time to formulate a complete story arc.
Why would I torture myself by sitting in front of a computer before I hadn't a clue as to what's what?
Seriously. Get real about writing books. This is not some fairy tale romantic jaunt you're on. You don't go on a cross-country road trip never knowing where the damn gas stations are. Why attempt an 80 grand word work, having zero clue where the plot and characters will end up traveling?
Plan out that story. Think on each scene - its arc, and how the events and characters will interact and move that arc forward. Don't have a brain aneurysm about it, but allow your mind to flip through those scenes, so it knows where to take your fingers.
It's not brain surgery, but your brain must be drafted into the process; otherwise, I guess that Blank Page Fear will rear it's vacuous ugly head. And who needs that?
It's Monday. Get thinking. Ian is making a toast to your effort.

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