Coming Up Blank

A short post today–shut up, stop cheering–but writers sometimes come up blank. That’s fine, if you’re just writing for fun, but what if you’re on a deadline? What do you do?

Sometimes I play some Solitaire or Mahjongg matching, but that’s if I have considerable time to let my subconscious mosey around like that kid in The Family Circus until it brings me back what I sent it to fetch. Sometimes, like during NaNoWriMo ~waving to campers who are at Camp NaNo this month~ I don’t have that luxury.

When that happens, you just have to tie a knot and go on. If you’re sprinting through a project, there’s not a thing in the world wrong with just writing a stream-of-consciousness outline of what, generally, you want to happen in a story. My friend and fellow Southern Indiana Writers Group member T. Lee Harris does this to brilliant effect. Once you’ve brainstormed the general skeleton of the project, you can go back and flesh it out.

Of course, this is The Kiss Of Death to writers who write to find out what they’re going to say. Once they’ve written the bones of the story, all the fun is gone and the project is over.

People like that, or people who, like me, have no idea where to start on a project, have to just dive, as I wrote about Monday.

That’s what I did today, and the post turned out to be longer than I expected. Sorry about that.

WRITING PROMPT: How does your main character approach a project, writing or other? Is he or she a careful planner or a diver?



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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