So, there is this great idea of a thrilling story hunting your mind. You can’t stop thinking about it. It’s powerful, moving, and sensational with an unexpected ending. But whenever you sit down, ready to put it down in writing, you find yourself stuck. You write a few sentences then delete them because they are no good. Then you start over again but don't get any further and after a while you abandon?
Let me tell you the truth. You are just experiencing the fear of the white page. And be assured, most of us do.
Writing a story is not an easy task. What you need to have is a strong mind and willpower. The willpower to sit down and write even though you are not really sure about how to do it and where to start. Even if your writing might have a sense only to you and not to others.
There are people who can write a book in just two weeks! But there are others to whom it takes five, ten or up to twenty years. Don’t be scared. No matter the time, writing allows you to turn your mind to other things or, on the contrary, to cope with events and experiences which you might find difficult to cope with. Two weeks or twenty years, the simple process of writing is already rewarding and beneficial for your own mind.
To me, there are two types of writers.
The first ones are writing about what they have seen, read, studied, invented or even experienced but to which they are very little or not at all emotionally attached. This can be crime or historical fiction, sci-fi or horror. They usually do research before they start writing and the plot of their book is developed into the smallest detail.
The second type of writers are writing about events they have experienced and to which they are still emotionally attached. They
are extremely good at describing their characters' feelings and direct events happening around them, but might have difficulties with building the entire plot of the story. They find themselves more often sitting in front of a blank page, not knowing where and how to start. In both cases, what you need to develop is a structure.
For example, you are writing a story about your childhood. Your house was set on fire and your parents died. You and your twin brother survived but were separated and didn’t know about each other until a very strange event happened to reunite you.
Take a piece of paper and write down the number of pages and the number of parts you wish your book must include (rather than should include). Then take each part and divided it into chapters. Ask yourself how many chapters for each part. Then describe in one sentence the plot of each chapter. If possible use only one page of paper so that you see the whole book laid out in front of you at once. You will find yourself with a grounded strategic plan which will be your best friend to prevent you from the fear of the white page periods. You will find the writing much easier and there will be no more hindrance to your creative mind.
Share with me your ideas about how to start writing a book.
Have you also encountered the ‘fear of a white page’?
How have you coped with it?
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Monika Fourneaux is a part-time writer. Her first book Story of Lenka is available at Amazon (all market places). www.monikafourneaux.com