Monday, July 26, 2010

How To Revise...

...a blank page.

Sorry, that is impossible.  Staring at a blank screen is daunting. It's...scary!  It's worse than the scariest horror movie!!!

How can a writer avoid the terror of staring at a blank page?

Some tips:
  1. If you are beginning a new story, don't start by opening your software to a blank page if you have no idea of what you intend to write. Even pantsers need a vague outline of what their story is about.
  2. Flesh out your characters. Utilize writer's tools to learn your main characters' goals and motivations. Learn what makes them tick, what their unspoken desires are, what their fears are, and how they react in various circumstances.
  3. If you are in the process of writing your story, don't stop at the end of a chapter. Stop in the middle of the scene. When you come back to your scene again, you'll know exactly what should happen next.
  4. Jot down the main things that happen in each chapter as you write them, and before you stop writing for the day, jot down what scenes should be next.
Whatever motivates you to get quickly back into your story, do it. Writers are not alike. Each must find what works for them.

Establish a pattern of writing and stick to it. And, never ever start with a blank page and no idea. You can always revise later, but you cannot revise a blank page.

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