Chapter 1: Staring at Blank Pages (Words, Words, Words)

Words Words Words : All the pages not fit to print

This is a book (sort of) about writing and all the ways I’m trying to get better at it. It functions as my ‘write something every day’ dumping place and is a MuseFic about that effort. This isn’t MuseFic focused on an existing story (those will continue as normal), but more of a general writing exercise.

This story is cross-posted to Wattpad.

Staring at Blank Pages

The endless story mists were unusually quiet as the Writer walked towards her writing nook. Even the plotting winds had died down to a whisper and she couldn’t hear any plot bunnies scampering through the fog. With a sigh she sat down on the couch and pulled a soda from the nothingness between the couch cushions.

“To be fair, it’s been a rough start to the year,” the Muse said without looking up from her fanfic laden tablet. “But you could be working on one of the many other MuseFics instead of starting a new one.”

“I’ve tried!” The Writer took a sip of soda and then with a sigh shivered the can slightly so it turned into a hard cider instead. “The whole 52 in 52 thing is a great idea, but I just can’t focus right now and I don’t want to skip ahead to the next story again. Plus I’m far enough into [One-Word Title] that I can’t just pick it up without rereading everything.”

“So you’re just going to sit here and whine about it?”

The Writer gave her Muse a sharp look. “I’m getting back into the habit of writing something. That’s historically gotten me back on track and with the April session of Camp NaNoWriMo right around the corner, I can’t afford to spend another month getting nothing done.”

“Go write Saturday Story Prompts then, you’ve still got a lot of the year left to prewrite posts for. Or make those new themed collections you keep talking about.” The Muse hunted through AO3 for a new fic to read. “Or heck, write some fan fiction, it’s not like the Stargate Atlantis muses ever went away.”

The Writer tried in vain to not think about the dozens of AUs those fandom muses had spawned.

“You could also start importing all the other works-in-progress into Wattpad,” pointed out Sam as the fictive walked into the faux-living room that the Writer had carved out of the nothingness. Her unicorn was only a few steps behind, but Fluffy looked like he would rather have been anywhere else.

“Everything I have is a work in progress!” The Writer fished out a beer from the interdimensional cushions for her fictive and handed it over as Sam sprawled happily on the other end of the sofa. “I’d end up with dozens of things and they’d all be sporadically updated. What reader is going to hang around for that?”

“Considering your insane genre hopping ways?” The Muse gave her writer a look. “Can you have negative readers?”

“So I have to wait for [One-Word Title] to finish before you’ll start on Half Past Never? Seriously?” Sam was Not Pleased.

Fluffy was perfectly happy to let their story sit on the backburner and summoned up an azalea bush from the mists to nibble on in the meanwhile.

“Camp NaNoWriMo is coming,” the Writer hedged. “I have to start story building for that, so [One-Word Title] is sort of on hold too.”

Sam glared and muttered many unrepeatable things that the Writer refused to put on paper–err screen. Then the fictive took a deep breath, got another beer from the couch, and tried to argue her point. “Fine, so you aren’t writing us, then who are you writing in April? Is this going to be another brand new universe like [Placeholder]? Because all that got you was another rough draft that’ll never get finished.”

“I technically finished [Placeholder] and Chasing Falling Stars,” the Writer sniffed. “So yeah, the story that they were about needs work, but the story about the stories is done. And no, I’m not starting something new… I was thinking about picking Into Darkness back up.”

There was a long pause.

The Muse looked up from her tablet.

“You are seriously going to work on the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale remix?” The Muse blinked. “You haven’t touched that ‘verse in years!”

“All the better to work with then, right?” The Writer tipped her cider towards the writing desk that was covered in heaps of paper. “I don’t have to worry about any of the backstory, I’ve got the general idea all worked out in my head, so I can just sit down and write.”

“That’s cheating, someone else already wrote the story,” Sam objected.

:Do I get to point out that we’re pretty much a Buffy/Supernatural/Grimm derivative and maybe you shouldn’t throw stones?: Fluffy pulled off a sarcastic unicorn face to match his mental voice. The Writer still wasn’t quite sure how he managed it.

“Don’t feel too bad,” the Muse said, “the most recent short story over in 52 in 52 is just a Scooby-Doo Episode.”

:Jinkies.: He nommed another mouthful of azalea.

“So if you have an idea for April, why are you here?” Sam grumped. “Why aren’t you off starting up another pre-novel MuseFic like you did with Chasing Falling Stars.”

“Because I’m out of the habit!”

“And writing MuseFic about nothing will help how?”

“Time in chair,” the Muse said with a sigh. “Sure, we’ve got 800-some-odd words of nothing today, but tomorrow it might be something useful. Maybe she won’t be working in the Tales of the Drunken Unicorn‘verse, but you could at least hang around and help brainstorm.”

“I’d better get a short story out of this,” Sam grumbled.

And lo, there were words on paper.

And it was good.


Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

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