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A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it to be God.
– Sidney Sheldon

I came across this quote from the late American author, Sidney Sheldon, and it reminded me of the part of writing that never fails to strike fear in my heart: getting started. As I have put most of my efforts over the last few years into writing novels, it’s not a problem that I encounter too often. But when it does come up, it’s a challenge that sometimes takes me weeks to overcome.

This is 30 centiliters of Rosie Lea. Trust me. -Image by James Shade

Tea is my secret weapon for beating writer’s block.
-Image by James Shade

Personally, I find that once I have a strong premise and some great characters in my mind, the process of actually putting words down on paper comes fairly easily, so perhaps it’s actually a blank brain rather than a blank sheet that causes me issues. But that first step that goes between thinking “I want to write a novel” and “I want to write this novel” always seems insurmountably huge. So far, I’ve overcome it more by chance than technique; by pacing my room and mumbling under my breath and drinking cup after cup of tea until inspiration strikes.

So, I wanted to ask if any of you have found some solid techniques to bashing out a premise to work with?