It's What They Said, What I Heard Friday (the 13th)! And Blogger finally enabled nesting comments and delete buttons! Will the awesome never end? Speaking of awesome (bad segue)...
What They Said:
A blank piece of paper is God's way of telling us how hard it to be God. ~ Sidney Sheldon
What I Heard:
Creation isn't easy. Creating something completely from scratch is even harder, but you're a writer and that is what you must do. Get on it that, will you? Regards, Sid
There are precious few writers in this world (if any) who've never looked at a blank page or screen and frozen like a popsicle that's never met Katy Perry, utterly unsure how to begin or what to do next. (Oh yes, blank page syndrome can be just as paralyzing in the middle of the book. Worse, sometimes.)
The fact of the matter is that your book is a scratch-baked cake. Whether you've set your story in present day New York or on Mars in the year 2718, your world is unique.
Take the Empire State Building, for instance. It's a place we all know, either personally or through cultural osmosis. But when seen through your character's eyes, in your character's situation, it could be anything from a lover's meeting place (Sleepless in Seattle/An Affair to Remember), to the closest thing resembling a high, protective tree the big gorilla can find (King Kong).
Is your character looking at it from the POV of an assassin (high vantage point, but difficult to escape)? Or from the POV of a disabled woman in a wheelchair (nice view, but fire trap if the elevators go out)?
In the way you tell your story, even the familiar is your creation. You are the god of your story (or goddess, if you prefer), and being god ain't easy. It's both complex and persnickety, microcosmic and macrocosmic. It requires you to think of everything from the personality and appearance of the people who populate your world, to the relative coarseness of the grass and the scent it releases when they walk on it.
And it's downright impossible if you never accept the challenge, pick up your pen, and get on that bad boy.
Have you ever been paralyzed by the blank page or canvas? How did you get past it? Please share, page seventy-five is killing me.