Ah, the blur- I mean lure of the blank page! Which is it for you? Do you stare at all that white space desperately waiting for some brilliant idea to emerge, or are you so overwhelmed by all of your brilliant ideas that you don’t know where to start? Or, like me, do you start on one of your brilliant ideas only to revise the first sentence seventeen times?
Whatever your process, the important thing is that you are facing that blank page. You are honoring yourself as a writer just by giving yourself the time and space to at least think about your writing – and that’s a start! At some point, though, you want to translate that thinking into words on the page, so here are some tidbits to help get the words flowing.
Freewrite: Write whatever comes to mind for 10-20 minutes, without taking your hands off the keyboard or pen off the page. If you get stuck, write that you’re stuck. Don’t edit, cross out, or worry about mechanics. Let your mind go where it wants – don’t be scared of the dark. When the time is up, underline or highlight lines, ideas, or words that seem promising. Use these as a starting point for your writing.
Mentally zoom in on a scene, object, or character. Next, zoom in some more. What do you see? What don’t you see? Make a list, web, or picture, if that helps. What feelings, memories, or stories are connected to your mental image. Describe the image, evoking those feelings with your words.
Already have a work in progress? Write a letter or a series of text messages from one character to another. See what secrets or surprising stories emerge.
Put your main character in a very unexpected situation. Write to see what happens. Create a status update before during and after the incident.