Jan 5, 2015

Writing Law: Negative Space is Positive Space


Starting things has never been my strong suit. If I'm being honest, starting things is scary because there's so much pressure--unspoken words, curious readers, anticipated feedback--that it becomes overwhelming. And because of that, I am a constant victim of Writer's Block.


Whenever I ask about writer's block and how to cure it, I always get the same answer: "just keep writing." It's easier said than done, and honestly, incredibly unhelpful. The whole point of writer's block is that you're unable to write anything; ergo, it's an invalid answer. So I thought about it and decided to make my own cure.

1. Be your character (aka become an actor) 
    -What's your reaction?
    -Do characters develop?
    -Are characters stand-alone/ self-actualized?

2. Be your reader (aka become a bystander) 
    -Is this realistic?
    -Is this exaggerated?
    -Can the readers relate?

3. Be the creator (aka become a thief) 
    -Get inspiration from your surroundings
    -Create the world, action, and characters
    -Create, create, create

Blank pages are threatening. They're every artist's worst nightmare. But recently, after speaking with a fellow painter about art and its creation, I realised not all blank pages are bad. Blank pages, or what she refers to as "negative space," is actually liberating.

"I like to imagine it being light or something visceral," she said. And really, that's what art is all about--seeing something that isn't really there. Instead of seeing the blank canvas or page, imagine the story you want to write or draw, and then simply "trace" it. Because really, the negative space you're staring at is teeming with your imagination--you just can't see it yet.