Sunday, 19 February 2012

White Page Syndrome

Some authors seem to have hundreds of books waiting to burst from their imagination and be everything that writer is capable of producing. Many people start off with the ideas, heading off with in a quick sprint, but few really understand what sort of race they're entering. Novel writing is a marathon, sometimes it moves at the speed of a glacier (and not at the speed of the melting ice caps sadly.) You need some strategy for some parts and know when to pace yourself. You hit the wall, numerous times, and all you can do is done the mental safety gear and knock it down yourself. This may come when you're walking in the park (like what we think many writer's must do.) 

But you get there in the end, after so many months or years it takes (four years for my first two novels). And then you're faced with what do you do next. It's like a long term relationship. You get infatuated, can't stand to be apart, making passionate love all the time, until gradually it cools and you become comfortable. You get comfortable with a novel with its annoying pitfalls, its tendency to the leave the toilet up, or leave crumbs on the worktop. Then when you finish, it's a empty space in your life. You wonder what you'll do without it. Of course you can revisit and analysis little details over and over, but that's just knit picking. The upside of finishing a novel is that you're rather giddy and happy, rather then eating copious amounts of ice-cream and many nights in with the girls.

Finishing a big story or novel brings you to the next ground. White Page Syndrome, something almost as bad as Writer's Block, Tony Blair or The Only Way is Essex. Some ideas are lurking about, you decide it's a good idea to launch off onto a new project. You open the document, get so far as putting in a title and hopefully the opening paragraph. Then its stops. It's like being at an awkward party where you know no one. it's hard when to judge to jump in or just loiter on the edges like that weirdo who looks like he's going to spike a few drinks. your hands hover over the keys, desperate for something to pour out, expecting words in torrents. But sadly not. You tap out a few mediocre sentences that are mostly likely to be deleted later on. 

I'm deliberating if I continue with my fantasy series because the third book's characters are set up and ready to go. I'm familiar with the world I created and I'm keen to explore it. But those are the reasons holding me back. It's time for pastures new. It's rather daunting coming back to writing about the real world. How much as changed when I'm gone? Can I portray these new characters realistically? 

Let's hope I can. Novel number three, you are mine. 

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