Thursday, May 29, 2008

Pick Your Poison: A Blank Page or A Page of Crap?

So, how's the writing coming along? Have you been putting your butt in the chair and writing?

No??!!! Why not? Staring at a blank screen? Scared that what you type on the virginal white screen will be suckish? Crap? Boring? Total B.S.?

I feel your pain...

And, yes, a portion of it will be suckish, crap, boring and total B.S. - if you are me, a rather large portion. But think about this:

"It's a lot easier to edit a page of crap, than a blank page."

Do you know who said that? Nora Roberts...THE Nora Roberts. Now, whether you like her novels or not, it is difficult to deny that she is an incredibly successful author. In fact, she is one of the most prolific authors out there...and her books sell!

So, plop on down in that writing chair and take a hint from Nora...write your crap and then edit it.

The point is to just get it down. Especially for those of us who are pantsers, getting it down gives our characters a breath of life. They become multi-dimensional and lead us in directions we might never find on our own. Just getting it down gives us the framework, the big picture. As in "Aahh, that is where this is going!". That is why it is called a rough draft. It can be fine-tuned and tweaked later. Just get it down! Did I already say that? Just write!

Give yourself permission to write suckish prose, boring descriptions and unending internal monologue. Do you know where that will take you? The promised land, baby! The land of "I wrote a novel". No one has to know it sucks, because just getting it down is one of the hardest parts. Then you can take a break and return to your manuscript (how cool does it feel to say that?!) with a fresh mind, fresh typing fingers and a delete button that operates at the speed of light. But that is a lesson for another day! Until then...

Yeah, you guessed it: Just get it down!

Don't get it right, get it written!
Ally Carter
Author of: I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You

Stop thinking. Start writing!
Sara Gruen
Water for Elephants

Any writer who knows what he's doing isn't doing very much.
Author Nelson Algren


Renee Knowles said...

I totally agree. Although, it has been absolute hell lately to write my current WIP, I have sat there and churned it out. And it's beginning to take shape.

Sometimes you just have to write!



Tiffany James said...


Amen, sister!

Tiffany :0)

Renee said...

I've been suffering through revision hell for months. But I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, thank goodness.

I want to get to my second and third novels.

You're right on, just write!;)


Tiffany James said...


I hear ya'! I have so many characters dancing around in my head right now, it's a wonder I can form coherent sentences (OK, so that is debatable...). Anyhoo, I want to start a new ms, too. I love getting lost in that brand-new world full of new people!

Good luck and cheers on clawing out of revision hell!