It is not writer’s block. I tell myself as I stare at a blank page. The problem is there are too many choices. Maybe you can relate to this. As a kid (or adult, I don’t judge), You are standing in a candy store, anything you want there is yours if you want, but you can only have a few choices. How long do you waver between the creamy, decadent chocolates or the chewy gumdrops? Just when you have decided and reached (for the chocolate, I already knew what I wanted), the Swedish fish catches your eye…. That is how I feel sometimes; too many choices leave an empty page but in my mind, it’s full, and working on the next. I have mentioned before that my writing style is kinda convoluted. I think of the entire story, front to back. My roadmap. But there are a lot of side roads and interesting things to see along the way; I might wander off the planned route a little before I get back on track. But I do have a plan. Now I fill in all the little details. But those details have to have meaning that progresses the storyline and fits together like a puzzle. I take all these pieces, maybe workout a scene here, think about an interaction that might not show up for a few chapters, set that down, and work on another scene that won’t show up until the grand finale. So blank pages are not blank. In my mind
This method is working for me. But really, I have no idea what I am doing. There must be an easier way. I have been wondering how other writers do their thang. What is the process? Am I the only one that writes this way? Maybe I should start interviewing other authors, pick their brains, and see what works for them. What do you think? Let me know in the comments section below.
As far as my blank page goes, I have been reflecting on my story, and I think I have smoothed out some rough surfaces that made good connections in the narrative. Blank page I will crush you.
From the feedback I have gotten about ‘Emergence Collective,” It turns out that “The hole.” Which was (to me) just part of the setting that turned out to be its own Character. I didn’t expect there to be so much intrigue around it. It is fun and satisfying to see reactions and thoughts about my story from other people’s perspectives, which didn’t occur to me since I was focused on different parts of the story. This character snapshot is not a character, but a place in the story.
Old Willy opened the truck door, which whined and screeched in protest as the rusty hinges rattled. “Whatcha doin’?” Mr. Winston croaked out the question while clearing his throat, showing genuine interest in Frank’s contraption over the dump.
He turned a little red, embarrassed by his curiosity. “Umm, well, ya see. I got to thinking is all.” He began to explain. “I have been using this as a dump for 30 years now, right?”
“Well… why hasn’t it filled up yet?” He posed the question with increasing excitement.
Mr. Winston’s eyes lit up as the thought sunk in. “You know…. I never much gave it a thought….’ Till now. You know your right!” the excitement transferred to Mr. Winston. They both sat staring at it silently for a minute or two, pondering the notion as another old beat-up truck shook its way up the path. A younger man in his mid-30’s poked his head out of the truck window to have a clearer view of the scene around the hole.
“Is there something I can do?” he asked with concern in his voice. Not knowing the details of the situation, he offered his services out of simple neighborly kindness.
Frank and Mr. Winston did not look up or respond, lost in their own thoughts. Johnny got out of his truck in a hurry and trotted over to the hole.
“Someone fall in?” he asked in an almost scared tone of voice. He detected that Jonny was getting amped up a bit, broke his trance from the hole, cracked a smile, and chuckled. “No, no, everything is fine,” he said in a calm voice, trying to put out the fire in Jonny’s mind “we were just think’n is all; how deep is this hole?”