The blank page

So I officially started working on the new novel on Sunday. (Yes, I’d already sort-of started it a while back, but I chucked that beginning and started fresh.) It’s the sequel to my still-unsold World Domination YA novel.

This post isn’t about the fool-hardiness of writing a sequel to an unsold book. It’s about the blank page.

Starting a new short story doesn’t intimidate me. I know it’s going to be a few day’s or a week’s worth of work, that it’ll turn out much like I envisioned, and that it’ll be a reasonably good story once I’m done. I may or may not sell it, true, but I have a handle on it. I can do it. Even if I don’t know precisely what the short story is about, I know deep down that I’ll be able to pull it off.

I don’t quite have that faith with novels yet. Every time I start a new novel I’m pretty convinced that I’ve completely forgotten how to write one. I’m starting my *mumble mumble* ninth *mumble mumble* novel and I still have the fear that this novel will be crap. I’m convinced that I’ll spend a year out of my life writing an unreadable book. That might have something to do with the notion that since every novel is different, you don’t know how to write it until you’ve written it. In essence, each novel teaches you how to write it. The only way to do it is to … do it.

Into the mines.


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