The allure of the blank page

When my writing partner contacted me about the publisher anthology that lead to my “Writing to a Deadline” piece, all she knew was that it had to be a happy ending, and it could be no more than 10,000 words.

I stewed on this idea over a weekend, and came up with something that I believed would both cover the publisher’s tendency to reach for manuscripts with a romantic element, but also cradled my fascination with blowing things to bits.  I started mapping out that scenario in my head, and actually liked it.

Then the details came in for the anthology, and I realized I needed to totally scrap my idea. No explosions for me.  😦

I’m actually glad this happened though, because this story idea that I came up with has been calling me since the final edits of LAST WINTER RED.  (Which will be published in the Make Believe Anthology later this year)

I started writing out a summary-outline, and as I brought depth to the characters and the plot, I realized that 10,000 words never would have done this new idea justice.

I think the explosions alone might encompass 5,000 words

Don’t worry, I’ll try to control myself—there’s just a lot of pent-up artillery in my mind screaming to jump out and detonate!

So, I am half-way through the outline/summary of my next novel, and I am dreaming of that blank page.

After the pressure of Writing to a Deadline, I am looking forward to a slow, steady, enjoyable writing experience… and all the explosions I want.

I am moving through the outlining process with a smile on my face, developing the story as a summary, and dreaming up the scenarios that will lead up to that massive exploding climax.

Now that I know outlining works for me, I am not looking at it as a chore.  It is part of my creative process.

Ah…. The allure of the blank page.  It’s been a long time since I’ve looked so forward to starting something new.

Has anyone else exploded something started something new lately?


28 responses to “The allure of the blank page

  1. Sometimes I’m so stalled, I want to give the whole idea of writing up. Blow it up.

  2. I love the allure of the blank page so much that I plan too many stories and have several beginnings for novels and novella at this very moment. They all tap their wordy little toes waiting for me to continue and I’ve abandoned them to work on two of the most completed projects.

  3. My trouble is lots of ideas, so little time. Glad you were able to get some writing down. I don’t get a lot out of outlining, because I’m a pantser at heart. I love writing everything that comes to mind too much, that indulgence that you aren’t able to enjoy at any other stage of the process. Actually, let me rephrase. I will outline, but only after my first draft is completed. That way I still get to have fun with the story and all its possibilities before I really “work”. 🙂

  4. I have two in the works that are taking forever to move forward and 2 new ideas in my head that I don’t dare start yet. 🙂

    • I’d grab on to only one and go with it. I can’t put my creative energy into more than one at a time or I lose myself. At least I am aware of this, so I try to keep focus

  5. Kourtney Heintz

    It’s amazing what gets us going on the next project. I’m done with a first draft and taking some time to revise an older manuscript. But I’ve got a folder full of possibilities. Just trying to decide between a few of the ideas there. 🙂

  6. Oh, for the day when I can play with those new ideas again. But it’s the trenches for me these days — revising, revising, revising. At least my characters are working with me again. 🙂

    (Side note – you might want to edit the title of your soon-to-be published story 😉 )

    • OMIGOSH!
      I’m looking trough everyting madly … “What is she talking about?”
      and then I saw it.
      That would be me… counting too much on my poor typing skills and relying on my spell checker.

  7. I’m always starting something new, the trouble is, I don’t often finish. I’m an ideas person, and a get things started person, but not so much of a finisher person! I must work on that…

    • I get ideas all the time. I try hard to push them back so I can devote myself to one project because I KNOW that I will have trouble getting back to what I’ve started.

  8. I’m just about to finish a 24k novella, so I will be starting something new on Monday!

    I just don’t know what the new piece will be. But I’ll find out!

  9. I challenge myself with a blank page every day. By nighttime, I should have a complete creative writing piece to post.

  10. Yay! … blow s**t up!!!

  11. I’m always looking at blank pages. Then I write something. Then I blow it up and get rid of it because it stinks. Then along comes another blank page and the process begins again. I have thousands of blank pages. Someday I’ll fill them up.

  12. Best writing advice I ever got from my 10 yr… “mum, if you get stuck, just blow something up, that’s what I do.”
    So 1 airship + 1 castle = spectacular explosion and dinner time conversation about what noise would an airship make as it explodes… 🙂

  13. I’m looking forward to the return of the blank word document of possibilities on August 1st. It’ll be the second book in a trilogy, so it’s not entirely blank in many respects, and I have the outline done already, but at the same time, it’ll be nice to be back in draft mode, exploring and reaching for more of something new.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m one of those sick individuals who actually enjoys editing for the most part. But that allure, the whispers of the story from the depths of my mind, well, that’s beyond sweet. Some days, I think it borders on the sublime. 🙂

    • But that allure, the whispers of the story from the depths of my mind, well, that’s beyond sweet. Some days, I think it borders on the sublime

      Wow… what a great quote!

      When I am in edit mode, part of me dreads having to go back to the work of creating again. When I am in creative mode, I dread the swell of emotion when I finish. It’s a vicious circle.

      • For me, they’re more like magnetic poles. I always end up torn, wanting to do both. I suppose that’s the upside of working as quickly as I do. I always feel like I’m doing both at once.

        And thanks, feel free to use the quote. I wasn’t really trying, but on rereading it, that did work out well. 😀