Prepping for NaNoWriMo: Clean Slates and Updates by Nevada McPherson
Let’s welcome back monthly columnist Nevada McPherson as she shares with us “Prepping for NaNoWriMo: Clean Slates and Updates.” Enjoy!
Happy fall! Although it doesn’t feel very fall-like where I am in the U.S.—the Deep South—there’s still that air of expectation and new beginnings that comes with the autumn season.
For one thing, I’m updating a project that I wrote quite a while back and that I’m most excited about it!
It’s a screenplay that I’ve been wracking my brain about to how to update. Recently I‘ve been inspired to expand it into a novel and eventually pitch it as a series.
As for the novel, I’m gearing up to participate in this year’s NaNoWriMo and actually can’t wait to get started.
I’m looking forward to exploring this story and these characters’ lives, loves, and motivations further, as well as the places where they’ve hit rock-bottom and have to find their way back.
As much as I love the visual aspect of screenwriting, exploring the inner lives of these characters I feel I’ve known for so long on a deeper level through prose is something I feel will vastly improve the original story overall.
Two things I will do differently for NaNoWriMo this time are to begin on time (instead of halfway through the month like last time). And I will plot out the novel during October so that I have a structural foundation to work with.
As for the series idea, I’m a TV junkie from way back, but I’ve never really thought about writing for one-hour TV format as seriously as I am now.
For the most part, I’ve been content to just enjoy my favorite shows as a welcome escape.
There are many old shows I love and never tire of and now that we’re in a new “golden age” of “peak TV,” it’s a TV viewer’s paradise out there (or a web-streamers’, or however one consumes smaller screen content).
Being a faithful viewer has been enough for a long time but now I’m ready to delve into the format of one-hour drama and to study on a deeper level the shows that I adore, past and present.
An Eternal Student
I always feel like an eternal student when it comes to writing, and now more than ever that’s true. I embrace it.
Finally, one surprising thing now injecting new life into this project that I’ve been puzzling over for some time, is the introduction of a new character that came to me a couple of weeks ago — seemingly out of nowhere.
Because of the formatting for one-hour series TV that requires a “teaser” to open the script, I was forced to revisit the opening scene and it was there, in a landscape only alluded to in my earlier story that this new character appeared.
Since then, he’s taken over my imagination as I work out his relationships with the other characters and his place in the story. He’s a complete mess in many ways, and sparks conflict left and right. What could be better than that to turbocharge this project?
The muse is at work, my friends—Listen for its song!
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 Lessons. Queensgate, the sequel to Uptowners, is her third graphic novel. For more information, visit www.nevada-mcpherson.com.
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