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Saturday, October 24, 2015


Oh, the dreaded blank page. You're sitting in front of the computer, fingers poised and your brain goes blank.  Where is inspiration when you need it?

Nora (yes, the famous one) says you can't edit a blank  page. Duh! So, where can I find the key to unlock my creativity?

The story I'm working on is set in late, 1800's Colorado. My town is based on a real place, Lake City. I've mentioned it in the last blog. Small as it is, I'm sure there are hundreds of real life stories that are worth writing about.

My characters have been in the back of my brain demanding their story be told. All well and good, until I begin writing and other characters pop in. Well heck. Now I have to figure out what their part in the story is.

One writer friend sits down and pounds out 20,000 words in a couple of days. Her mind is full of interesting characters and action. It's been months and I'm just about to hit that mark.  I have to sit back and think of who these people are and what is happening to them. How do they get out of horrible situations. How did they get into horrible situations? The agony never ends.

My critique partners are invaluable. They've sat with me and gone over pages of my manuscript and offered ideas and thumped me when I forget to watch out for point of view changes. (I'm terrible at that and never notice.)

Maybe I need to do some on-site research and head to Colorado. Maybe not. I think it's snowing there already. Yeah, more than an inch of snow strikes fear in my heart. Pretty, but I'm used to a few flurries in the winter.

How do you kick start the writing juices?  Pictures? Real historical figures? Situations? Please, I need help!!


  1. As a pantser, I go back and forth in my stories. I just finished chapter 11, chapter 10 being the first sex scene. My editor will growl. She likes sex early. I tell her she wants the couple doing the "wild thing" between the words chapter and one. But that doesn't work for me. The way I had it written didn't work for me. I wanted the couple to have more meetings...a lunch here, a conversation in the heroine's bookstore there, and a movie scene where the hero has an episode of PTSD. So I went back and inserted a new chapter six. Which, of course, means I'll have to read everything from that point to the end of chapter eleven where I'd stopped so it all flows together. Shall I be brave and mention this is the fifth time I've inserted new scenes? I'll be writing along, happy with the story's progression and then out of the blue, something niggles at my mind about a conversation in chapter two. Exit happy writer. Enter frowning nit-picking author. We each have our own path, our own method. Just keep writing.

  2. I'm an pantster, too, and so my books go off in all kinds of unintended directions - some of them golden and some of them all wrong! However, I learn about my characters along the way. I'm sure you've already done plenty of research into Lake City (I've been there!) but if you go back and reread the history of the area, you might find some interesting events that you can use to create problems for your characters. Maybe a record-breaking snowstorm or cholera epidemic or some other catastrophe.
    Good luck, and keep on writing!

  3. KEEP ON WRITING! Did you get that part?


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