The Blank Page

A few weeks back, I was talking to a poetry writing friend of mine, and she told me how much she loves a fresh, blank page. She sees that blank page and sees the possibilities. It’s freedom. It’s malleable. It could be anything.

I see a blank page and I see a brick wall. There are too many possibilities! It’s overwhelming! It’s chaotic!

Now, I can understand the blank page love a little. I do love breaking in a new composition book. πŸ’œΒ It’s freedom! But a blank page on the screen? This is part of why I type my outlines up before I start. Sure, I don’tΒ have to, but then at least there are words on the page. It’s also better for my neck to not be constantly twisting to look at my handwritten outline. And better for my eyes not to have to decipher what I wrote.

I have pretty good penmanship in general, but sometimes my Gs looks like Ss and my Rs look like Ns or Cs, so it’s in my best interest anyway to type the mini beast up before I forget what it’s supposed to say. It also helps me type faster. So I tend to finish the outline underneath my story, which means that, yes, my word count is always a little bloated because at least 1000-2000 words of it is outline at any given time because I’m too lazy to section things off. I also type notes up in the document sometimes, so that bloats the word count a little, as well.

And I like it to be bloated. It calms me down. It’s makes the turbulent beginnings that much less stressful for me. πŸ™‚

Still, even with my half-outline typed up and some notes thrown in, Chapter One is still a blank slate. I even typed a stupid sentence up about the weather to have something there. That helped a little. Except I knew I’d have to delete it at some point.

I was ready to start drafting, and while I hoped I’d get to it on vacation (which was fabulous!), I didn’t. So I hoped I’d get to the week after. I didn’t. Then, I hoped I would get to it Labor Day weekend. Guess what, I also didn’t.

I did read “The House of M” – an X-Men/Avengers crossover comic that I quite enjoyed once I got used to the style. I read manga, but if you know anything about manga, you know it’s read backwards. That’s a trip in and of itself. πŸ˜€ I also read graphic novels. Still, I had a little bit of tripping up trying to figure out how to follow the dialogue bubbles and understand that some panels stretch across two pages, and I need to read that first, cause ya know, it makes more sense that way. It’s my first comic book, y’all!! So exciting!

Anyway, that’s how I spent my Labor Day. Watching Hulu and reading comics. πŸ™‚

So, Tuesday, after a nice long weekend, I actually get up after listening to my alarm clock howl for 25 minutes (this is good for me), and I feel pretty good. So, I pick up my Stephen King anthology “Four Past Midnight” – I’m currently reading “The Library Policeman” – and I’m reading for probably ten minutes when I finally get hit with how I can start my story!

YAY!

So, “The Puppet Box” is officially started. πŸ™‚ The hardest part of writing for me is over! It’s all gravy from here. πŸ˜› And for the first time in a long time, I’m reading and drafting at the same time. Maybe it’s just something I can only do with graphic novels and Stephen King. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about the awesomeness of his writing that reminds me to relax when it comes to my own. The guy has some weird ideas. If he can make those work, surely I can do the same?

Anywho, I would like to finish “Four Past Midnight” by the end of the year and see if I can talk myself into another one of the Stephen King variety. He has a new-ish one out, but the blurb scared me a little, so we’ll see. LOL! You think I wouldn’t be a chicken, but apparently writing darker stories and being a chicken go hand-in-hand sometimes. It’s one of the things that makes us so good at it. ^_^ Besides, writing creepy stories wouldn’t be fun if it didn’t creep me out. Getting creeped out is part of the allure. πŸ˜€

8 Responses to The Blank Page

  1. I’ve never had blank page problems, oddly enough. Last week-ish, my best friend and I were goofing off on “writing a musical” (neither of us is musical), and my friend started scribbling because she needed something there. But at least you got your first line going! Best of luck on drafting πŸ™‚

    I find that reading at the same time I’m writing–whatever it is I’m reading–helps remind me what a coherent sentence reads like.

    • Thank you! I’m thinking of writing half a musical for a story idea. It sounds like fun in theory anyway. πŸ˜€

      Reading – this go around anyway – is helping me take the pressure off. Take things less seriously. πŸ™‚

  2. The blank computer screen bothers me, but a pretty note book–never! I can scribble all day with a pen and paper. The problem there is in transferring it to the computer screen. I never have my notebooks near the computer and am too lazy to run back and fetch the notebook and reread everything I wrote. So I usually figure I know what I wrote (because hey, I wrote it!) and go from there. Lol! I lack total organization in that area.
    But yay to writing again! With Stephen King, huh πŸ™‚ Guess your going to explode our word sprints now!

    • I love scribbling!! It’s not comfortable typing up stuff, but I don’t mind. It makes me feel productive. Lol! But yeah, Yay! I’m finding Stephen King very inspiring. ^_^ However, I looked under my bed last night, and the story isn’t even scary yet!

  3. I’m intimidated by the blank page too. As soon as I have a least a sentence on there, I’m good. But first chapters don’t scare me. In fact, I ADORE them. There are so many possibilities. I did an intensive study of story beginnings a few years back, and it made all the difference.

Hi! ^_^