Monday, September 19, 2011

The Blinking Cursor of Doom

I sit here and I stare at it, and I swear, it's mocking me.

It's strange how I have faced extensive rewrites (book 2 was scrapped at 68,000 words and started fresh), major copy edits, NaNoWriMo on multiple occasions, and yet nothing is quite so daunting as a blank page, and that one little lonely black line. Sitting there. Blinking at me.

I think it's the unknown. The sheer overwhelming possibility of it all. Will it be a poem? A witty blog post? A dissertation on the feminist imagery on boxes of athlete's foot ointment? It could be anything!

What if it wants to be a novella, and I force it to be a dirty limerick? Or what do I do if my iambic pentameter novel-length epic poem turns into commercial jingle parodies? There are just so many ways this could go wrong.

It's not so bad, once you get the first line down. Even the first word. Then the page isn't blank anymore, and it's not staring at you all expectant like. You get the first few marks on the page, and it's tamed, ready to be molded into whatever shape you have.

But right now, what I have is a blank page, and a blinking cursor of doom. So I sit, and the cursor blinks at me, and buried under the sheer enormity of what might be, nothing is.

Wow, that sounded really deep.

I feel like I should find a video of college guys lighting farts on fire or something, just to counter it all.


Tina Moss said...

I'm sorry I can't get past the part where you scrapped book 2 at 68,000 words. WOW! I can't imagine the daunting task of starting that over. Did you end up using any of the material from the first scrapped version?

K.A. Stewart said...

What would have been the entirety of book 2 was condensed down into chapters 5-15. The original version was much darker, and had a much higher body count.

Once I decided that wasn't where this needed to go (and had a REALLY long and productive talk with The Editor), I mushed the middle together and wrote new beginning & ending chapters, including an entirely new climax.

And honestly, it came out way more awesome than my first plan. ;)

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