The blank page offers itself as an untapped realm of opportunity. It is full of potential to be the incredible tale, emotionally poignant poem, or enrapturing truth. It is all up to you.
While all that open freedom for creation is exciting, it can at times be intimidating.
Where do I start?
In my tale of galactic battles of good vs evil, do I start with the unsuspecting farmboy on his home planet? Do I start with the theft of the blueprints that set the whole chain of events in motion? Do I begin my tale with the farmboy’s father and the setup of how galactic politics became the way they are?
As far as the actual words, do I start with ‘Once upon a time’? Or maybe ‘A long time ago in the future’?
With so many options, it’s overwhelming!
Take a breath. And another.
It doesn’t matter where you start. It doesn’t matter what words you put down first.
You’ll probably change it all later. You’re not going to ruin any potential story. But you’ll never tap into any of that potential unless you write something down.
This is something I have had to remind myself many times: it doesn’t have to be perfect the first time around. It doesn’t even have to be good. It just has to be. Improvement comes later.
You’re not painting the Mona Lisa. You’re not even sketching the Mona Lisa yet. This is the stick figure idea on the canvas of some Lisa person. The details and refinement will come later.
Sometimes I have to start out vague. Really vague. Then the details work themselves into a scene.
Sometime, somewhere, there is this galactic civilization ruled over by this really evil guy and his second in command. They make this big thing that can blow up planets, but the good guys steal the secret blueprints to stop it. They are on the lam, flying over this desert planet when one of the bad guy ships totally catches up with them and starts blasting the ship up. Two robots that have no clue as to what’s really going on are wandering around the ship, trying to stay out of trouble when they hear the announcement that the ship will be boarded.
“Did you hear that? They’ve shut down the main reactor. We’ll be destroyed for sure. This is madness!”
Rebel troopers rush past the robots….
Sometimes getting that exposition out of the way and really getting into a scene is what it takes to get the snowball rolling. Those blurbs that are barely an outline of a story, maybe later you’ll tune them up. Maybe you’ll cut them out. But that’s not something to worry about now.
Right now, it’s time to put down some words.
We’ll make them pretty later.