bondo_ba (bondo_ba) wrote,
bondo_ba
bondo_ba

The blank page

Many authors I know (and others I don't, but whose experiences I've read about) have a myth regarding the blank page.  It seems that the first words of a story are the hardest, and they spend a long time staring at the screen, writing nothing. 

I understand the problem intellectually, of course.  Starting a new story, or chapter, or even just a scene can be daunting.  It represents a mental shift from whatever came before, but this isn't the only issue, at least in my case.  I usually have all the main plot elements set in my head when I sit down to write something, but I never have all the details down pat, so while I (generally) know what's going to happen, I don't necessarily know how it's going to do so.  Which makes it difficult to write the scene.

Each writer deals with this in their own way.  My personal method for places in which I'm stumped (and one that I have found effective) is to decide how the scene is going to transcur, and then not write it.  How?  Easy: I think about the scene for a while, create a road map in my head, and write only the first sentence or two, and then set it aside.  This method allows me a certain amount of time for my subconscious to reject or modify anything truly horrible in my plan and also has another huge benefit: when I return to the piece there is no longer a blank page looking back at me from the monitor.  It is now just a question of adding words to a piece that's already under way - something we can all do!

This method might not work for everyone, and I'd love to hear what each of you does.


Other news includes the fact that I wrote 85 words over the weekend (which is better than my usual weekend count of zero), and also watched The Battleship Potemkin.  This is a Soviet propaganda film from 1925 which was once selected as the greatest movie ever (by a western panel).  Time has made it quaint instead of powerful, but I can understand why it was once censured for both its violence and its political content (banned in Britain until the seventies).  An interesting and very educational look at how to make a good propaganda film (essentially, keep it low-brow and make it very clear who the good guys are and who the bad guys are through both actions and characterization!).
Tags: 1001 movies, writing
Subscribe

  • Sale to Robotica Antho

    Happiness since last report is that my SF story "Checkmate Charlie" has sold to the Robotica Anthology. This is the kind of stuff that…

  • Writerly update

    Haven't been doing enough writerly updates lately, but here's a quick one: - Stories: three currently under way. One is an SF tale with some…

  • When noir gets Victorian

    Seems I'm using this as a place to brag and to post Classically Educated updates... but the reason for that is that life has been hectic, but not…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 15 comments

  • Sale to Robotica Antho

    Happiness since last report is that my SF story "Checkmate Charlie" has sold to the Robotica Anthology. This is the kind of stuff that…

  • Writerly update

    Haven't been doing enough writerly updates lately, but here's a quick one: - Stories: three currently under way. One is an SF tale with some…

  • When noir gets Victorian

    Seems I'm using this as a place to brag and to post Classically Educated updates... but the reason for that is that life has been hectic, but not…