AtoZChallenge 2015: B is for Blank Sheet

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AtoZ Challenge 2015 Wittegen Press BAtoZChallenge 2015: B is for Blank Sheet

Welcome to Wittegen Press for day 2 of the AtoZChallenge 2015. Today Natasha Duncan-Drake will be explaining why ‘blank sheet’ has meaning to her book Cat’s Call.

So why is ‘blank sheet‘ significant to my book Cat’s Call?

The answer is very simple; that’s what I started with. When I first began writing Cat’s Call I had absolutely no idea what I was going to write. I mean I had not even an inkling.

Blank Sheet

All I knew was I wanted to write a new fantasy novel suitable for a YA audience, crossing over into the adult market. That was literally all I had in my head when I sat down at the computer. It was something of an experiment really, just to see what I could come up with.

I started typing and just followed my nose until something started to take shape. As I slowly created the first page, Charlie, my protagonist began to form in my head. It’s third person past and Charlie is my point of view character and as I put words on the page he came to life.

That first page is long gone, edited out to make the start of the novel much snappier, but I still have copies, because that is what kicked my brain off down the route that created Charlie, somewhat inept 18 year old that he is, and all his friends. That blank sheet, as it filled with words, was the catalyst for the evolution of the great spirits, the seven Questors, the realm of Between and the idea that seven people could save the universe. So far they have grown into three novels.

So, if you are at a dead end, or you just want to see what your brain comes up with, I heartily recommend the ‘blank sheet’ method.

Have you ever tried this? How did is go? If not, is it something you might have a go at?

If you are not a writer, but one of our valued readers, do you ever use this technique for brainstorming other things?


FREE Book Offer

The Chronicles of Charlie Waterman - Cat's Call by Natasha Duncan-DrakeCat’s Call by Natasha Duncan-Drake

Code for FREE download at Smashwords*: Β MZ32V

Charlie meets his destiny in an encounter with a cat figurine that attacks him for no reason he can work out. Then he grows a tail in his sleep and has to travel to a realm called Between to learn how to use the magic now running through his veins. An anti-social vampire and five teenagers who all appear to be much more prepared and competent are only the beginnings of his worries; being asked to help save existence is the icing on the cake.

*Click Smashwords to go to the book on their site. Click the buy option. Put the code in the Coupon Code box, click ‘apply coupon’ and the book will be free. Coupon is only guaranteed to be valid for 2nd April so please use immediately.

Β Our other AtoZ blogs:Β Tasha’s Thinkings | Sophie’s Thoughts and Fumbles| FB3X (AC)

AtoZChallenge List 2015Β click to see other participants.

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Curse of a Banshee
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  • When I first started writing, that was how I started pretty much all stories. I had little idea, other than a few scenes, on where the story would go. Now, when I get ideas, they are more fully formed, but there’s still an element of unknown that keeps it exciting for me.

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Member of C. Lee’s Muffin Commando Squad
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

    • This is the only novel I’ve started with absolutely no idea where I’m going, but I find it can be fun with the odd short story :). I suppose with practice more things form before we put pen to paper though, as you say. πŸ™‚

  • I have used the blank space approach before. It sometimes works great, sometimes not so much. A lot of times I actually find myself writing into a story different than the one I had originally sat down to put together. Glad to meet you via A to Z!!

    Elle @ Erratic Project Junkie

  • I’m a writer of fictionbut I’ve never written in this way. Of course we all start with a blank screen but I usually haven’t opened my notebook or put on the laptop without a few lines already waiting to come out. I think I’ll try it though – never know where it could take you!

  • Wow. how many times have I stared at the exact same screen.

    It taunts us doesn’t us. Mocks us even. Yet somehow I still get excited when I see it because it means I am about take part in the act of creation! Maybe not always good creation, but hey gotta start with something right?

    Tim Brannan, The Other Side Blog
    2015 A to Z of Vampires

  • If that sheet stays blank too long, I go a bit mad. I have the patience of gnat and I should have one of a cat.

  • I start everything like this. I’m a discovery writer, so that blank page is always an important part of a new project. I love learning my characters as I write them.

    • I don’t plan much, but this one was different because I had absolutely nothing in my head. Like you, I discover a lot as I go along, but to start with nothing at all was really quite fun :).

  • Yes, I’ve used this method also. Sometimes it just takes doing that, writing with no goal in sight!

  • I tend to write very organically, though I like to have at least some notes, a brief chapter-by-chapter run-down, or a table of contents going in. In particular, I need this for my doorstopper-length books, or they’d quickly become unwieldy. They might be extremely long, but at least I carefully planned and plotted them at that length.

    • My sister does a lot of preparing for writing her books, but I am much more of a butterfly writer and it’s only when I get to a certain point that I go through and decide what else I need in there and add in some planning πŸ™‚ I’m always fascinated by how other people do it.

  • That sounds like a great technique when you’re stuck about what to do next!

  • The blank sheet makes me more anxious than liberated! Good thing I usually have an idea before I get out a blank sheet.

  • I use a program called WriteMonkey. Due to my disability, it actually hurts my eyes to look at a blank white sheet/page. I also don’t like all the bells and whistles of Word, Open Office, and Scriniver. I find it too distracting. I like Notepad, but notepad is very simplistic.

    WriteMonky allows me many background options but nothing on the foreground. I can change the colours as well, to make it easier on my eyes. I have found Black background with Magenta text to work the best. Never would have guessed that colour combination, but the program has a randomizer of colours to check out different options.

    When it comes to writing, my philosophy is no editing. Just write. If you missed an important detail somewhere, make a note to yourself in your book when you think of it and deal with it later. Just move as fast as you can from beginning to end.

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