It’s time. You are finally ready to write your next great novel and wow your readers with the story you have been harboring in your heart for years. You open up your document in word or other software, rest your hands on the keyboard and begin taking the first few steps on your road to a novel.
Or at least, you would if you could think of anything to say.
This phenomenon isn’t an isolated feeling if you’re worried. It even has a name, “Blank Page Syndrome.” Its that feeling you get while you are staring at the monitor and trying to decide what to fill that voluminous cavity of white with. There are so many choices on how to begin that choosing can paralyze the very forward progress we need. Luckily, its pretty easy to fix. There are several methods of fixing it. Here are the 3 I use most often:
Skip the intro scene
We usually have an idea for at least one part of the story, whether that is a crazy action scene, or a cool character. If you can’t think of how to begin, don’t. Start with the pieces that come most easily to you. Often times those scenes will build on other scenes, and pretty soon you’ll know how it begins. Besides, 90% of the time those first chapters get cut anyway, so why bother writing them?
Use a starter sentence
If you can’t think of a sentence to begin, try one of these:
“By the time we realized what was happening to us, it was already too late.”
“The warm summer air played with Name’s hair as she walked down the narrow aisle.”
“Name’s heart pounded in his chest as he pressed himself against the alley wall.”
“Getting kidnapped was not part of the Name Last Name life plan.”
If you want more, just look up “Story starter sentences,” on any search platform. These are sentences writers make up and give away to help other writers in need. You aren’t cheating or stealing somehow by using them. You are just giving yourself a beginning point.
Try free writing
Free writing is the art of putting the pencil to paper. You set a timer, and for that period of time the pencil must keep moving. You may write, “I hate this and I don’t know what to write.” Over and over again, but you will write. Often times your brain will kick in when it realizes it isn’t winning over the body, and you’ll find inspiration as those empty pages fill.
What are your favorite tips to battle blank page syndrome?