Home > Fiction, Writing, Writing Career > The Tyranny of the White Page

The Tyranny of the White Page

I have an idea. I even have a WIP that grew from the idea and I’ll venture to say that it’s going to be a pretty good story. The trouble is that it keeps running aground because the opening I’ve chosen isn’t the right one in to the story and it’s giving the story a wonky foundation. So now, I’ve put away the half-dozen pages I’ve got on it already and I’m staring at a white page trying to start it over. I’ve had a few running leaps at it, but they seem to stall faster than what I had originally written. Scrap and start over. Not sure what it is about putting the first few words on the page, but it’s always been a “significant” moment. A sullying of the pure, the breaking of the paper hymen, and it always feels like it should have some kind of significance, making those first few words a little harder than they should be.

Finding the right way in to a story is a little like playing Zork, only there’s no methodical way of searching for the entrance by choosing cardinal and ordinal directions to describe a path around the square house. Once I’m inside, I know where the lantern, the rope and the sword are, and I’m ready to face the grue, but I gotta find the damned window first…

Sometimes, you just have to start from a page that you’ve already written on.  Let’s see how this works since this is no longer a blank page.

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