How To Begin Writing blah blah blah

I’ve been rooting around in my backbrain trying to figure out how I begin writing a new story. I mean the writing part, not the coming up with ideas part.

These days, since I’ve been writing novels to deadline, it’s easy to tell when I’m going to start a new story. I start the new story after the old story is finished. The subject of my story is dictated by what I’ve discussed with my editor already: “it’s a sequel” or “it’s a paranormal historical.” I turn in a synopsis and perhaps chapters before I officially begin writing the book, so I’ve started before I’ve started, if that makes any sense. There’s always the chance I’ll have to abandon one idea and choose another that’s more to the publisher’s liking (which happened for book two of my first contract). I’m okay with that, since the publisher is the one paying for my novel.

Blah, blah, blah. The content of this post is actually reflecting my process in beginning a new story. I ramble a lot. I might have an idea, but the idea isn’t the story. I don’t really count the story as begun until I’ve actually written a scene, until there are words on my computer screen or in my notebook. The characters, the setting, the story itself aren’t a thing to me until they’re out of my head and in the world.

When I sit down with a blank page in front of me, it can be terrifying. So unless I’ve had an opening sentence in my head for days, I just…begin. With blah, blah, blah.

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen [she, her] currently writes cozy space opera for Kalikoi. The novella series A Place of Refuge begins with Finding Refuge: Telepathic warrior Talia Avi, genius engineer Miki Boudreaux, and augmented soldier Faigin Balfour fought the fascist Federated Colonies for ten years, following the charismatic dissenter Jon Churchill. Then Jon disappeared, Talia was thought dead, and Miki and Faigin struggled to take Jon’s place and stay alive. When the FC is unexpectedly upended, Talia is reunited with her friends and they are given sanctuary on the enigmatic planet Refuge. The trio of former guerillas strive to recover from lifetimes of trauma, build new lives on a planet with endless horizons, and forge tender new connections with each other.
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