An ancient mariner digs the sea.  The wide open ocean beckons for someone to tame it.  But for a writer, the vast white ocean at the bottom of the page is foreboding.  Starting at the top of the page and working your way down can be intimidating, even after you have a few pages under your belt.  Sometimes you get interrupted.  In the middle of a scene.  In the middle of a thought.  And who knows how long it will be before you return to the page?  And set sail again across the empty whiteness.

I have found it helpful (especially as I near the end of my 500-page journey) to start charting my course across the white ocean.  As I write a scene, I take notes on where I’m going with it.  Right there on the same page.  I push those notes ahead of me as I type.  They act as waypoints to help me navigate the empty whiteness, and make it feel less empty.  And when I do have to stop writing, I can come back and pick up exactly where I left off, because the next scene, or next line of dialogue is already written there.  Maybe not in any detail, but enough that I can remember where I was, and pick up the flow again.

So don’t let the whiteness scare you.  Tame it.

Signpost Up Ahead
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One thought on “Signpost Up Ahead

  • 4 June 2016 at 7:42 pm

    I love that you call it the white ocean. That is so accurate.
    And I never fear the white page. I am enthralled by its possibilities.


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