Patience: The Road Ahead by Nevada McPherson
Let’s welcome back monthly columnist Nevada McPherson as she shares with us “Patience: The Road Ahead.” Enjoy!
Last month I wrote about how I would stop being so hard on the videos I make and said I would report this month on how all that was going.
To be completely forthcoming, I have not made any videos since my last post, but I will before too long!
Instead I’ve put that on the back burner for the time being while I focus on finishing the rough draft of my novel. Remember? The one I’ve talked about since the beginning of Nanowrimo in November?
I’ve made progress on that project and have been overall fairly pleased with how things are going but I hit a stumbling block the other day that I feel I’m finally overcoming.
I’m past the midpoint and closing in on page 300 but as I looked at the rest of my outline going forward I felt as if I was hitting a wall.
I have my main plot points mapped out but feel I’m entering less familiar territory now.
My characters are about to go through some difficult times and I think the anxiety I felt was due to not knowing all the particulars (I still have some very focused research to do), and trying to figure things out too soon instead of letting things unfold as I go, with my outline the map but not always the territory.
Much like how going on a trip with too many planned activities and a rigid schedule can be a stressful ordeal instead of a relaxing and enlightening journey of discovery, trying to figure out everything too far ahead in the story is a hindrance rather than a help.
I’m trying to get a full rough draft before I go back to the beginning. Now I wonder if I should go back and fill in a few gaps and then move forward again.
This story has grown more complex over time and I’m fully aware I’ll have to go back and do a much neater job of weaving all my threads of plot and character together, but I just feel I have to have that completed, though very rough, draft first. What do you think?
Maybe my reasoning has to do with the fact that there are certain scenes I know will have to take place, and I’m committed to getting those written and then going back and fleshing out the rest when I begin my rewrite.
I’ve been doing that throughout the process of writing and have kept moving forward, and it’s worked fine.
Why did I feel the pressure to hurry all of a sudden?
Maybe it’s because I’d wanted to be completely finished with the first draft by now, but as I’ve said in this space before, as long as you’re moving forward and getting it done, bit by bit, scene by scene, page by page, day by day—as long as you’re writing your story and giving it all the time that you possibly can—all will be well.
So my new mantra as I continue to work on my novel? Patience. Good things come to those who never give up.
Until next month—happy writing!
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.