I’m in this limbo right now between finishing one project and starting another. I got two more contest entries out in the mail today, so I’m set with the contests for now. Next I’m going to start querying agents.

Then there’s book #2, which for some time now has been a lovely, fully developed plot in my brain that I couldn’t wait to begin writing. Now that it’s time to begin writing it, I feel a bit panicked.

First, when I started to really look closely at that brilliant idea, I realized it wasn’t very developed at all. In fact, it had many gaping holes. And once again, my hero is being cagey, resisting all my attempts to pin him down. (Thankfully, my heroine will have no problem pinning him down…)

Second, I’ve been telling myself all through GOTH that everything I’ve learned writing it will make my next book fabulous. And I look at that blank page and think … uhhh, what if it’s not? I’m a wee bit scared. But that’s only natural, I suppose.

What do you do to get over “blank-page syndrome?”

7 comments to “Page Fright”

  1. beverley
    · March 27th, 2007 at 7:48 am · Link

    I felt that way yesterday. At one point I thought, can I actually do this again. Start and finish another book. But I am very cognizant of the mistakes I made the first time and I will try so hard not to make them again. Right now I’m interviewing my characters and figuring out specifically what’s eating them and where they want to go. I have to do a complete outline first and have my GMC (and hopefully query) done before I can actually start writing (that was the lesson learned thing).

  2. Alice Audrey
    · March 27th, 2007 at 1:52 pm · Link

    So what if it’s not better? Either fix it or move on to another one. It isn’t like you will only ever get one chance to get it right.


  3. Lindsey
    · March 27th, 2007 at 1:59 pm · Link

    Page Fright – LOL!

    I know you don’t have a totally blank page, because you already have an awesome first line!

    When I don’t use this situation as an excuse for procrastinating (which, in truth, is usually what I do), I write things that help me think about my story but that aren’t actually a part of it – outlines, summaries, backstory, etc. I particularly like to write about relationships – how, say, a hero relates/related to family members, friends, past lovers, etc. Most of it ends up being irrelevent and some of it ends up being wrong, but every so often I learn something important.

    I also like to rewrite or reoutline things I already know – it give me comfort with what I’m doing and occasionally new insight. But it’s all really just rambling, and you already know the effectiveness of that!

  4. Lenora Bell
    · March 28th, 2007 at 12:26 am · Link

    I haven’t found a good remedy yet for blank-page syndrome. This time I spent about a month doing internet research and completely avoiding writing because of the terror of that first page. Lately, I’ve been inspired by reading books that have absolutely no central romance plot at all, but whose language is poetic or imagery vivid. Somehow they help me sit down at the keyboard and try to find some of that lyricism in the confines of the romance genre.

  5. Ericka Scott
    · March 28th, 2007 at 3:08 pm · Link

    Gee. . . I have page fright every time I sit down at the computer! But. . .after two games of free cell (I know, sometimes MORE than two games), I just start typing. The worst weekend I had was when I spent 2 days writing 1000 words that just didn’t work. . . I had to delete them and sit down with my characters. . . they knew it wasn’t right and after “listening” to them (going over the outline and trying to figure out how to get them together) it just started flowing again.

    So, my advice. . . just start writing. . . you can always fix it later.

  6. Mary Danielson
    · March 28th, 2007 at 3:28 pm · Link

    Oh the blank page syndrome, I have definitely been there before. (As in, last week)

    Actually, what helped me the most is a little like what Lenora mentioned – I went back and read the first chapters of a few books I love. They were great inspiration for the right place for my own book to begin. It may sound like it won’t work, but sometimes you feel so much pressure from the blank page, that it is a relief to read other people’s successful attempts.

  7. Tessa Dare
    · March 28th, 2007 at 4:10 pm · Link

    Thanks guys, for all the ideas! MerryDay -long time, no see! So glad you’re still hanging around.

    Hmmm. I’m trying a little bit of all of the above – outlining, brainstorming, reading, researching, rambling, and lots and lots of thinking.

    As Lindsey reminds me – I don’t have a completely blank page. I’ve got the first line … and just while I was washing the dishes today, I came up with the second. Woohoo! Progress! 🙂