The blank page

One thing that always amazes me is what appears on the blank page of a computer screen when I am attempting to write. I may have nothing to say–my mind is blank–and then my fingertips touch the keyboard and words I didn’t know I had pop up on the screen.

This happened with the Son of Jesse every morning I sat down to write. I’d read a passage from Scripture and have no idea how I was going to convert it into a chapter of a historical novel. But then, I would start writing, and pretty soon a chapter would form.

Cormac McCarthy once said plotting out a novel is “death”. I think what he meant is that allowing a book to write itself organically by sitting at the typewriter or computer and letting the words flow gives life to the characters, setting, plot, and themes. Even to say, “I’m going to write a story about the bond of a father and son,” may be planning things too far ahead. It might be better to just start writing and find themes as you create the world.

So when a person tells me he or she has nothing to say, I often think about the blank screen. If people just sit down and begin typing, I believe they’d be surprised at the words magically appearing before them.

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