Thursday, May 5

Blank Page Battles

by Margie Senechal

Unlike Stephen King, I've never been afraid of the blank page. In fact, I love the blank page. I love the possibility and the hope that accompanies a new beginning. I can start a new story as easily as brushing my teeth--maybe easier if you factor in my gag reflex.

It may not always be the perfect beginning and it may change over the course of the story, but perhaps foolishly, I never stress about the beginning. 

Nope, my problem is the middle. And it's not so much because it becomes a muddle, it's more about maintaining the momentum of my beginning. I think I fall in love with the characters and their story when I begin and then, somewhere in the middle I start to see their flaws. Or my flaws with the story.

And then there's the choice to be made, can the story weather the seven-year itch? Or the middle itch?

I usually decide to suspend my project rather than give it completely up. Most of the time, I want to know what happens to those characters and their situations and how they get there. That's the fun of writing for me--the discovery and creation. It's why I don't outline ahead of a time. Or at least, that's my theory and I'm sticking to it.

A few weeks ago, I relaunched Bix-version nine. Bix 9.0--maybe that should be my title. His name and the final version number. It's a thought. The first few chapters have been a breeze but now, I'm coming up to where it went wrong in the previous incursions, so we'll see how it goes.  

Perseverance, that's the key. It works in life, it works for writing.

And look, another blank page conquered. Happy Thursday, all!


  1. Happy Thursday! Middles are the hardest for me, too. I'm struggling with one now - I think I made my heroine a little toooooooo...bad. I need to fix that asap.

  2. Me, three, with the middles. I'm in one now and it's killing me. I just wish I could plot, but I haven't mastered it. (Don't think I'm going to at this point, either.) Good post, Margie!

    1. Me either, Liz. I have a friend who writes an extensive outline. If I did that, I wouldn't write the book, it'd be done in my head and no fun anymore.

  3. With so many stories swirling in my head, the beginnings are definitely easiest. But how to get from there to the Happily-ever-after can be tricky. I think you should title your Bix stories like Adele titled her albums... by age! ;-)