The blank page


I rarely have a problem starting a story. Not often does the first “beginning” remain the “beginning”, more often than not getting deleted or changed during edits.  My sticking points usually happen in one of two places : I’ve put my character somewhere and have no idea how to get them out of the situation or I don’t know how the character should react to what has just happened. Both are difficult hurdles to leap. I wrote a heroine into a forest where she had to battle for her life and it took me months before I figured out how to get her out of the forest. For situations like that, I put the story aside and work on other projects. I brainstorm from time to time, but more often than not the plot element I need smacks me upside the head one day.

The latter I find is resolved by sinking into my character’s psyche. What is he/she feeling, thinking? My current male character is proving more challenging than others I’ve written. Two out of three of the stories I’ve written were primarily from the heroine’s point of view. The third was from a male perspective, but he was a young man, in metaphorical shoes I can relate to. This character possesses thousands of years of life experience, has wandered to the “dark side” not because it had cookies, but for the fun of it. Then, to prove he could do it, marched right back over to the good-guy camp so-to-speak. So far this story is divided fairly even between the hero and heroine, but it’s HIS story.

Outlines, fun interviews, bios are all great ways to learn about your character, but at some point you face that blank page. I hear a whisper telling me to stop trying to “think” the damn scene to pieces. The best way to write from your character’s point of view is to let the character tell the story.

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