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AfriGeneas Writers Forum

Working on a novel/Writing projects


Writing, my favorite thing...besides genealogy. :0)
I had hoped this forum would be a place to talk about writing projects.

My story is set in Arkanas, Washington D.C. and California. The time period is 1954- 1963. I have almost 200 pages and unfortunately I have not been writing in sequential order so it is a mishmash of chapters and scenes. The first third and the ending are pretty much set. I am dealing with the sagging middle. It is a coming-of-age story and my main character ages from ages 12 to 23. I have been working on this for a long time, have had some parts critiqued and workshopped. I need to get it finished. To that end, I am in the process of researching grants and residency programs so I can take some time to get this knocked out.

I was born in Little Rock and raised in the Bay Area but have always felt a kinship with the South and all things Southern. I look forward to our family reunions at the old homestead in southern Arkansas down in the country where there are lots of memories and history.

There is an article in today's N.Y. Times about the 19 year old Harvard student who was paid a $500,000 advance and is not being accused of "borrowing heavily" from two other authors.

When I read Denise Nicholas's Freshwater Road which BTW I highly recommend, I said uh oh. There are some similarities to my storyline but actually they are entirely different stories. We both have as a theme that includes the Civil Rights movement. Her story takes place in 1964 with the Freedom Riders. Mine culminates in 1963 with the March on Washington. We both have love interests of from Creole Louisiana. Hers is published, I'm still struggling. LOL.

I read both of Haizlip's memoirs and the second one left me unfulfilled. She had some good research on the subject of passing and she handled this sensitive topic sensitively. My disappointment came in that we did not hear from her mother's sister, as this was something she refused to address. We know Haizlip's mother was deeply hurt by the abandonment of her family's decision to leave her behind and pass into the white world.

One world of advice, you can research and research and it can take over the actual writing process. Hopefully you can make it to L.A but hopefully you can avail yourself on resources from the library and old newspapers. Where are you anyway?

In the middle of writing this book I started genealogy research and our local genealogy group, Afrian American Genealogy Society of Northern California as an adjunct family writing group. We are writing our family histories, slowly but steadily. We are using the text, You can Write Your Family History by Sharon Debartolo McCarmack. So that is one of the reasons I haven't finished my novel. Your project sounds exciting. Have you joined a writing group?

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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