Brave New World / Brave New Writing by Nevada McPherson
Let’s welcome back monthly columnist Nevada McPherson as she shares with us “Brave New World / Brave New Writing.” Enjoy!
This spring is different from any most of us have ever experienced. Most of us are staying home, to be safe and to keep others safe. Safety is a huge consideration right now in everyone’s daily lives.
As storytellers, however, there is one place where we should never do the safest thing, and that’s in our writing.
Brave New World: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone, Creatively
Desperate times call for desperate measures and if you are feeling a little desperate to reach out, shake things up and make an impact, the best way that you can do it is to step outside your comfort zone.
Have a vision and don’t be afraid of doing what it takes to make the vision reality enough that others can share in it.
We all know that writing is hard work, and has the capacity to be frustrating and even painful sometimes. But isn’t there a certain kind of magic that infuses your efforts on some days? When you’re in the flow, in the zone, fully immersed in the world of your story?
Brave New World: Trust Yourself and Your Characters
Experiencing the lift of what happens here involves your trusting yourself and your characters enough to let that “energy in the collective unconsciousness” that I mentioned in my previous column filter through you so that you may see and tell us what it has to say through your amazing self-expression.
If you’re facing challenges either within the world of the story, or your own fears about showing your work to others and how they might react, then this is the time to “lean in” to the magic of trust: not to make the safe choice but the one that will surprise and delight or provoke and galvanize your readers.
In this case, it’s not your job to take them the “safest” route all the way around the mountains, but to take them through the center of the mountain range.
Brave New World: And Trust Your Readers
You know the terrain and topography of your story like no other, and your readers don’t want you to play it safe just to avoid challenging them.
They’re thrill seekers, paying their money and taking their chances. They want their guide through this particular story to be a risk taker, to inspire them, and ultimately, to enable them to feel intensely what it means to be human.
In your fiction, now is your time to create a new world; make it a brave one.
In all other aspects of modern life right now, outside your story, take care and be safe. The world needs your stories.
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.