Here I am, staring at a blank screen.
By the end of all of this I know exactly where I want to be.
With a view.
A nice one. Perhaps with a tree and a beach, something like this:
No longer will I be lashed by the rain on this weather beaten outcrop!
With my paradise island view firmly in place I’ll reflect on my acheivements, so far.
I’ll have a smug sense of self satisfaction.
You get that when you’ve turned the inside of your imagination into solid, real, gold.
Gold that you can tie around your neck or dangle from your earlobes.
Shiny. Sparkly. Goldy.
Of course there is a certain amount of work involved in moving from here to there.
The key question is Where to begin?
It is the all important question to ask before setting off too merrily down the yellow brick road of your next writing masterpiece.
You really don’t want to set off on the wrong foot and in the wrong direction.
The journey is a lot more torturous when travelling on the inside of the wrong genre.
Let’s not even mention a mix up over destinations involving a confused point of view or a befuddled historical era.
The list goes on.
So where do you begin?
At the begining you may say.
Of course but where is that?
Once upon a time?
In a galaxy, far, far away?
Some not very useful advice at this point:
The longest journey starts with the first step …
Just pick up your pen and write, everything else will follow …
Close your eyes, imagine, channel …
Imagine your ideal reader, what do they want?
Mmm. Or stare at the evil blank page / screen until something just pops up.
Like an email from a giant online retailer recommending you purchase a How to Write a Bestseller book.
How do they even know what I’m thinking? Is that magic. Or is it a sign?
There, I’m distracted already.
I already have shelves full of writing manuals, how to do this, that and the next thing but here am I, bookless and unloved by readers everywhere.
Of course I’ve tried before.
None of those attempts came to much.
I don’t talk of them. They are hidden from sight.
One of them is in the attic.
Some nights I think I can hear it moving around, rustling, threatening to escape.
No one wants that.
What was I thinking?
I soothe myself with tales of famous authors whose early works were never published.
They were useless once too. Look at them now!
Staring at the blank screen my mind begins to wander. I’m imagining myself strolling along the beach, all they way down to the Coconut Arms at sundown where I’ll get into a heated discussion about writing in the second person point of view with a retired American who turns out to be Stephen King himself!
That doesn’t help!
Back to it.
This time I’m going to do it right.
Yes! that’s the spirit.
The correct place to start is with a story idea? Surely not!
Don’t you just write until something magical happens? Never!
Hang on though, isn’t that what Haruki Murakami murukami does?
This requires further study.
How do other, excuse me, REAL, writers choose where to begin and then what to write about?
Aha. The next chapter of my Loser’s Guide will be titled:
Thanks for reading!