How many times have you find yourself staring at your computer screen or journal and you just can’t figure out what to put on the page? Maybe you have a deadline, but you’ve lost motivation. You find yourself scrolling through the internet instead of getting done the things you need to get done.
That’s where I’m at. I need a webpost for tomorrow, but I’m staring at my screen and all my different drafts and wondering “Do I really want to put THAT one up now? It’s not really ready.” And instead of going in it, reading it over, and making sure its ready, I turn to the files on my computer to see if maybe there’s something else I can post about instead.
Low and behold, I found my Miitomo folders. You may not remember, but the year I started this website, I wrote a post called What’s Your One App? I talked about how I made a bunch of pictures on of my different characters and my two imaginary friends: Cheetah and Candra. When I found the folder on my computer, I couldn’t help but scroll through all the photos. Then, I came to the one featured in this post. I created these photos in college and this one is my Writer’s Block photo. It’s what I imaged was going on in my head when I couldn’t figure out what to write.
Cheetah snatched the pen with a big, toothy grin on his face. “We should start with ‘Once upon a time!’ That’s the best way to start!”
“No, Cheetah.” Candra grabbed the pen back. “We’re writing a novel, not a fairytale. Nobody starts with ‘Once upon a time’ anymore.”
“But, there’s fairies in our tale!” Cheetah reached for the pen, but Candra pulled it away. Cheetah hissed. “It’s a classic fantasy line that we all love! We should start with it!”
“Guys…” I flip through my notes as I watch them fight over the pen. “We need to start with the main character as soon as possible. That’s what all the writing workshops say.”
“Great!” Cheetah tackled Candra to the ground and managed to wrangle the pen from him. “So, we start with ‘Once upon a time there was a son of an alchemist!'”
Guilt burdened my shoulders. “I don’t think we should start with ‘once upon a time,’ Cheetah.”
“I thought so!” Candra shoved the startled feline off of him and snatched the pen back. “Once upon a time is too cliché, but there are still ways we can corollate it into the story.” Candra gets up and brushes himself off. He walks over to me to hand over the pen. “Remember, every time you write ‘upon’ in the story, it makes you think of ‘Once upon a time,’ it’s such a commonly known phrase that the reader will think of it too.”
“You really think so?”
“Well.” Candra sheepishly rubbed the back of his head. “Maybe. If anything, we’ll still see it in there.”
I smiled. “You have a point.”
Cheetah sat pouting on the ground. “So, if we’re not starting with ‘Once upon a time.’ What are we starting with?”
“The first chapter needs tension to draw the reader in.” I look down at my notes. “We all know how the first chapter is suppose to end, but the beginning has always been difficult.”
“He should be running!” Cheetah suddenly sprang up. He ran in circles around Candra and I. “Everyone knows something is up when the main character is running!”
Candra looked doubtful. “That’s a little too common to, isn’t it?”
I drop my head in my notes as a groan escapes my throat. This should not be this hard. I know my story. I know my characters, but why can’t I think of the words to put on the page? “We tried running before.” I didn’t lift my head. “But we’re not supposed to start with a memory. I think our best bet is to start in the memory.”
Cheetah stops and both he and Candra grows quiet. I know what they’re thinking. Believable arguments have always been a hard thing for us to write. You’d think it’d come naturally since Candra and Cheetah argue all the time.
I lift my head and look both my boys in the eye. “We have to work together. I’ll tell you when the pen should be passed off from one of you to the other, okay?”
Candra and Cheetah exchange a glance, and to my relief, they nod. “Candra,” I hold out the pen. “This is a serious scene, so you start, but as soon as our main character bolts from the house, you pass the pen to Cheetah, got it?”
Cheetah quivers. “This is so exciting. Our fairytale’s gonna be great!”
Candra rolls his eyes. “It’s not a fairytale!”