Chocobo Goddess (chocobogoddess) wrote in plain_english,
Chocobo Goddess

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Help when facing the Great White Abyss

(x-posted to writer_girls in response to cleolinda's question)

Something struck me the other day about how I write.

I hate staring into the Great White Abyss that is Microsoft Word. Actually, it doesn't matter what color it is. I remember it used to be blue when I used WordPerfect, and before that it was black and orange when I used LEWP. Before THAT, it was the white paper in my Smith-Corona typewriter.

The point is this: everyone faces the Abyss. It's intimidating to start on a blank page. I have problems with it even when I'm in the middle of a story. It's like I have a mental block about sullying the pristine surface with my horrid prose.

To combat this, I've done a few things. If I'm writing straight through from beginning to end, or I'm continuing a scene, I will cut and paste the last few paragraphs of the last thing I wrote. Not only does it help by getting me back into the scene, it also puts SOMETHING on the page to make it less scary and untouched.

If I'm bouncing around and writing scenes in no particular order, I'll keep windows open with any relevant or surrounding scenes. They're there for reference and inspiration.

If I'm starting fresh, I'll even put a list of things I want to accomplish in the scene or story at the top of the page. Again, it gets me thinking, and then it will break up the empty page. I will also make several 'false starts' that are just freewriting or snippets of dialogue, or just an image that I have in my head to start the scene. It all gets deleted or cut out later for reference.

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