This happened yesterday.
I was writing my current book and had no idea what was going to happen next.
I started to think of all the people who have told me that they would like to write a book but don’t know where to start.
I had just finished a chapter. I was in that place, that hovering place, that scary place, where I have no idea what I’m going to write next. I didn’t know what the characters wanted. I didn’t know what they were wanting to say. I didn’t know anything—other than what I had previously written. That helps, of course. (There’s nothing as daunting as starting a book.)
Then I found myself talking to an imaginary friend who was a wannabe writer.
“I don’t know how to start,” they said.
“I don’t know how to start this next chapter,” I replied.
“I’ll think about it some more.”
“That’s the very reason why you haven’t started to write your book. You’re thinking too much.”
“But when I think I get ideas.”
“Do you write those ideas down?”
“No. I’ve tried. But I always come to a dead end.”
“That’s because you’re thinking too much. Sit and write.”
“The first thing that pops into your head. It could be a name. A place. An emotion. A feeling. A desire. An urge. A smell. A taste. A fear. Write it down.”
“You’re thinking too much. Just write. Here, I’ll show you.”
I was in that same place remember. I didn’t know what was going to happen next. I had left my heroine standing in a doorway to a tunnel. That was how the previous chapter ended.
To show my imaginary friend, I sat at my computer, the dreaded vertical line flashing at me, and wrote: “She set off down the dark tunnel, and quickly noticed the drawings on the walls.”
Here’s the thing: I had no idea, before writing this sentence, that there was going to be drawings on the walls. No idea whatsoever. At least not consciously. But now I had something else to play with, a new texture, a new colour to help me paint my picture.
Writing is done when you sit down and write.
Just write something.
Writing is rewriting, so don’t aim for perfection.
I thought I would share that with you.
Best get back to my story.