Thursday, November 19, 2015

[NaNoWriMo 2015] Staring at the Blank Page

Let's be honest, occasionally we all end up doing this: staring at a blank page thinking "I have nothing to write". That is a lie from the pits of Hades, my friend. We always have something to write. Granted, it might not be useful, but the act of writing spawns more writing. Therefore, do something simple: write a grocery list. Not a practical grocery list but rather a list with your favorite foods on it. That way you're working from memory and not from the part of your brain that is feeling blocked. Does this help? Occasionally. Most of the time though, I go one step further and plan a grocery trip for one of my characters. If it's a contemporary setting, it's easy. Fantasy setting requires me to think a little harder because I have to consider the size of the city and whether or not they would be in a position to trade for certain things.

Whatever you do, don't just take that blank page as a sign you have nothing. You have something. There is always something. You may have to dig a little bit to find it.

When you're done with your grocery list, you can always incorporate it into the piece you're writing. Give your character a new favorite food and make them have to learn how to make it. Or send them on a shopping trip to get something important for the story. Maybe they have to please a picky foodie who has the answer to their next quest or holds the keys to the castle. Could be useful. At absolute worst, at the end of the day, you have a grocery list and your favorite foods on it. The start of a gift list should anyone ever ask for one.


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