|sanja gjenero |
When I first started this novel I wrote tight. I started each day by revising what I’d written the day before. I researched facts as I wrote. I tweaked adjectives and verbs. I was very slow. A chapter could easily take a week to write. Sometimes longer.
But in November my method changed. I learned about writing loose first drafts by reading Becky Levine’s blog. Instead of trying to pencil in the small details, I began to see that crafting this draft was like starting a painting with large brush strokes. I didn’t stop to figure out what road Kate would take coming home from school. I didn’t figure out which birds she listened to, which bus she took to get uptown, or how much it cost to ride that bus in 1950. There are hundreds of details that I’ll add later.
I started a HUGE “to do” list of things I want to consider layering into my story. Here is part of that list:
• North Carolina, United States, the world in 1950
• What else was going on in the Charlotte African American community?
• Clothing- who wore what where
• Buildings, cars
• Glass (yes, glass. You didn’t think I could waste all my research about glass without using it somehow, did you?)
• Characters- their physical descriptions, mannerisms
• Vernacular- southern, African American
• White and black debutantes
• The one drop rule
Did I say this is only part of my list? I have my work cut out for me.
How long will this take? I have no idea.
As long as it takes to get 53 short chapters or about 200 pages into shape.
As long as it takes to bring this novel to “the end.”