Blank page staring back at you? There is nothing worse than facing whitespace and having nothing on the page to work with. Use this blank page eliminator to break the spell. Copy and paste the text in the green box into your page. Read our text for guidance and replace it with your own. You'll soon have a paragraph or two to work from. If you get stuck again, try the plot twist generator for ideas.

There is a secret. I'm just going to hint at it. I'm going to trickle the information out one scrap at a time. This whole first paragraph has to be easy to digest and it must make the reader want to continue reading. Answer the compelling question, placed in the reader's mind, in that opening line. But there are more secrets. Can you get the reader beyond the first paragraph? Do you know how to do that?

Okay, we're onto the second paragraph. How are you going to fill this one? Well, it is still the first page. Most readers will stick with a story for at least the first page - but if it gets boring... So, bring in something new: a vivid description, perhaps. Something that the central character is doing that is unusual - like hanging about in pouring rain. Why would anyone stand in pouring rain, unless there was some important reason that compelled them to? But what was that about a vivid description? Perhaps describe a scene that was desirable: a sunny beach on a tropical isle, a luxurious hotel room, a fantastic vista across beautiful countryside. Or maybe go the other way and describe the sort of squalor or carnage that most people rarely experience. Don't forget to write over this text - it won't look good in your story. Oh, and those secrets I mentioned before, I'm keeping those to myself for now, although maybe you've already formed your own ideas.

Well, you made it to the end of the first page. But does this first page set the scene for your story? Have you introduced the protagonist, or someone who will have a major impact on the protagonist's story? Maybe it's an event you have described rather than a character. If the protagonist isn't mentioned yet, you might want to think about how to flag up the fact that what is happening will have a big impact on someone yet to enter the story. And if your reader gets this far and says 'so what' you might want to go back and do a rewrite - but first magic marker the words 'compelling question' on the back of your hand.

The end of the first chapter is still pages away. Don't forget a chapter is usually somewhere between an eighth and a thirtieth of the entire novel. Of course you may be writing a short story in which case the end of the chapter is probably the end of the story. Chapters should be a complete story in themselves. Now you've done the start, think about the middle and the end. A chapter is a story within a story so you have also got to juggle the main story with the chapter story and make sure you've pushed the main story along but also left some questions unanswered to compel the reader to start the next chapter.

Think of the final line of the chapter as the first line of the next chapter. Although that chapter may come later. The next chapter is a new story.

Here is an alternative version:

[First line: Create a 'what's' happening question in the readers mind.]
[First paragraph: Either the protagonist or the situation, vividly drawn with a sketch that asks as many questions as it answers.]
[Second paragraph: throw a little light on that opening line but still leave some questions unanswered. If you wrote about the protagonist in the first paragraph, now write about their situation. If you already wrote about the situation fill in a little of the protagonists character. Second act of the mini play that makes up the first page.]
[Third paragraph: do anything necessary to complete the process of lifting the reader to shoulder height, ready to carry them on. Finish the micro story of the first page. Give a hint of why this is a significant moment in the story yet to come.]