The scariest moment is always just before you start. Stephen King
Oh yes indeed it is – especially when you sit down to write with no idea of what you will write about. That is what I am facing in one and a half days time – with Camp Nano starting and me having no ideas. Aside from my first ever Nano in 2008 I have always known what I was going to write about come Nov 1st (or June 1st, or in this case August 1st). Last Camp – in June – Inspiration struck several days before hand. I was watching the sun set, admiring the red sky and thought of the line “Red Sky at Night, Sailor’s Delight!” Instantly I had a story – the whole story- there in my mind. It changed slightly as I wrote it, but I knew from the start where it was headed, the details of the main characters and the mystery behind the female main character’s past.
I sit here now – with 35 hours and 59 minutes to go (to be exact!), and have no clue. But I’m going to start anyway. I’m going to sit down on the 1st August (35 hours 58 minutes to go now) and I am going to write. And if all goes well – I will achieve this:
“The best thing about writing fiction is that moment where the story catches fire and comes to life on the page, and suddenly it all makes sense and you know what it’s about and why you’re doing it and what these people are saying and doing, and you get to feel like both the creator and the audience. Everything is suddenly both obvious and surprising… and it’s magic and wonderful and strange.” – Neil Gaiman
This is what I felt while writing ‘Red Sky’. And I’ve felt it with other novels too, but never with the same intensity, never the whole way through, never from beginning to end.
So wish me luck! And I return the wishes to all out there participating in Camp Nano (and even if you are not – good luck with your writing also!)
And in case you are wondering about the title of this post – Old Stories and New Writing – I have a new page on my blog – with the first story I ever published. ‘Sacred Circle’ was written as an exercise in description in my Grade 12 Class, 13 years ago. It was published two years later.