The Leap into the Void

The blank page that lies before us every time we sit down to write is the void. Unformed and unknown, it is a brave new world where we hope to find our characters, our plots, and our ideas waiting for us. Of course, when we write historical fiction, we’ve got a map. The facts as we know them give us an outline for the world we are going to build. But questions remains even then: what facts about our protagonist do we include in this book? What do we leave out? No life has the shape of a narrative arc. Even biographical fiction, like the work I do with Eleanor of Aquitaine, must be shaped and shifted to build an entertaining story.

This search for the things we will need to fill the void is even more profound for a work of pure fiction. When we are building a world literally out of nothing but our own imaginations, we rely on our characters, a plot we’ve developed before we begin,  perhaps an outline, and inspiration. All of these tools, along with our skills as writers and our hope that we will be able to tell a story that others will want to read are our companions as we sit down to begin. The blank page is before us. We are voyagers in the Void. Scary sometimes, often intimidating, the Void is where we writers live. We return from there with our stories in hand, hoping that they will be as meaningful to someone else as they are to us. I for one would not want to live anywhere else.

2 Responses to “The Leap into the Void

  • I am voyaging off into that scary emptiness now, and am enjoying your posts! Oh, and was I supposed to develop a plot first?

  • Christy
    9 years ago

    Sandy! You crack me up! You can hone and shape you plot in drafts 2, 3, 4 and so on…for now I hope you’re having fun in the midst of the Void. It’s a real adventure, isn’t it? 🙂

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