Monday, April 30, 2012

Fear is an Empty Page

I'm on the verge of starting a new novel (writing not reading).  Well, I'm actually a bit past that.  I had intended on starting a couple of weeks ago, but something got in my way . . . FEAR.

I'm not the kind of writer that uses outlines.  I lean a bit more toward free writing.  I know this causes all the outliners to gasp and shake their heads.  What about the plot holes?  The dead ends?  The run on writing?  Truth is, that's not what I'm afraid of.  Free writing comes natural to me and some of my best ideas come straight out of the blue.

What is it that scares me, then?  A blank page does.

Once I get words down on paper (more like computer screen) then my muse usually kicks in and the story unfolds on its own.  Now, that's not to say I don't hit snags that have to be fixed in the rewrites, but most often the Fear stays away.

But it's the moments just before starting, the time when you sit down to a blank page and search for the perfect opening line, that gets me.  That's when I start second guessing my muse.  Are you sure I shouldn't write this thing in first person?  Should this character live or die?  Is a mutant dragon/unicorn really necessary to my YA Police/Doctor drama with sparkly swamp creatures that teach children to do taxes?

The problem is, this new novel has a few elements that I've never tried before.  It's dystopian, it's the first in a series, and the horror aspect of the story has the capacity, if not done right, to come of as hackneyed and b-rated.

So, here I sit, procrastinating, second guessing, staring at a blank page.

1 comment:

Anna L. Davis said...

I needed this post today. Writing takes more courage than anyone ever tells us... I fear that my words won't make a difference, and I also fear that they will.

And like you, I feared the blank page most of all. But I just finished a novel and I'm finding that a lot of written words don't make the fear go away. Fear morphs from having nothing to say, to having said it and sent it along for others to judge.

Writing isn't for the faint of heart, congrats on taking your craft seriously. It's a huge step.