Quilting Party by Nevada McPherson

Let’s welcome back monthly columnist Nevada McPherson as she shares with us “Quilting Party.” Enjoy!

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It’s taken me a while to return to my NaNoWriMo project but I now have submission deadlines looming, so I’m committed to completing my rewrite before May 31. Can I do it?

More on that anon, as my former Shakespeare professor used to say.

I’ve printed out an entire draft and now I have to make sense of the disparate sections, notes and “discussion questions” that I’ve placed throughout, especially toward the end.

The discussion questions are questions I wrote down to help me fill in the gaps in details that need to be added to help flesh out the characters, their motivations, the setting, timeline, and other aspects. I’m considering color-coding the different sections and making an outline on a big sheet of paper to help me make sense of all this!

My headlong rush to the NaNoWriMo deadline means that I have the material, but like a big lump of clay, I have to mold it and shape it into something that others can read and understand.

In a past post I wrote about the pitfalls of doing too much research on historical topics – that at some point the research must end and the story has to take front and center, but now I find myself turning again toward wanting to learn more.

I’ll allow myself this indulgence (though some might say it’s due diligence) for only a very short time, then it’s back on my own. Some parts of my rough draft strike me as better than I recall, others are far less developed, and still others are merely lists, waiting to become details in a bigger picture.

One way I intend to spend my limited time on research is to look closer at my subject’s creative work instead of diving back into the biographical material.

I’m excited about the prospect, and look forward to revisiting some films I’ve seen before and others I’ve only seen in parts (and parts are all that remain of some of them).

If November was a month-long typing party fueled by coffee and desperation to finally hit a NaNoWriMo deadline and word count (50,000), May is a quilting party of piecing this all together to tell a compelling story about passionate characters set against the backdrop of a fascinating time period.

Threads may start to unravel from time to time, but stitching will resume, maybe even sometimes in a zig-zag way. As we all know, on our writer’s journey, the way is seldom as straight as we think it will be, and zig-zagging is more the norm than the exception in my experience. What’s yours? More on this anon!

Happy writing!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Originally from Georgia, Nevada McPherson lived in uptown New Orleans for many years and now lives with her husband Bill and rescue Chihuahua, Mitzi in Milledgeville, GA where she is a professor of Humanities at Georgia Military College. Nevada received a BA in English/ Creative Writing and an MFA in Screenwriting from Louisiana State University-Baton Rouge. She’s written over a dozen feature-length screenplays, one short screenplay, a short play, short stories and two graphic novels, Uptowners and Piano LessonsQueensgate, the sequel to Uptowners, is her third graphic novel. For more information, visit www.nevada-mcpherson.com.

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