This was the day I’ve been waiting for since November – the day when I could get serious about the new book. I’ve been kicking around ideas for the characters and plot all these months, but I needed to a) get some distance from the writing of PROM, b) finish my non-fiction picture book, and c) get through all the travel and school visits scheduled for the spring.
So… Mer left for school, I got out all my notes, sat down, opened the word processing file and..
Squat. Diddly. No inspiration. No voices. No ideas. All my notes? Worthless.
Writing can be a scary beast to slay.
But I’ve done this a couple times before and I’ve learned a few tricks. After two hours staring at the blank screen (my eyes felt like they were bleeding), I turned off the computer, put on my sneakers and iPod, grabbed a notebook and headed out the door.
It took about a quarter-mile, but then the voices kicked in. I could hear him, my Main Character. I saw the bits of the original opening scene I wanted to use, and what bits were misleading and useless. I walked for a couple hours, stopping whenever necessary to take notes. I spent the rest of the morning and afternoon turning the rough notes into rough chapters and now I feel like I found the door into the story. I surpassed the day’s writing goal and I have plenty of hours left for the other work stuff that piled up.
When writing doesn’t make you feel like screaming, it can be fun.