The Thirteen Traveling Journals Project

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Featured Diarist: Quincee

1. What do you find the most enthralling part of the writing process?

Creating the story and writing the first draft. I always know the end of my story first. Therefore, when I sit down to begin a story I’m flying by the seat of my pants from the first line until I reach that last scene that I imagined before I began the story. That’s the best part.

2. What’s the most frustrating part of revisions, for you?

Staying focused and motivated to RE-write what I’ve just written. Because I write my first drafts so fast, my second drafts are written much slower and words chosen with much more care. The deliberateness and attention needed is sometimes frustrating because it’s much easier to procrastinate and over think things.

3. Does your love of basketball feed in to your writing at all, or does it give you a much needed respite and a way of switching gears?

I’ve loved basketball since I was a ten-year-old following my teenaged brother to the public courts just to watch. The first novel I wrote was about basketball. The central character was consumed by basketball and the dream of being a professional ball player. My love for the game both informed and fueled my love for the story I was creating. The novel I’m working on now is about musicians and so there is almost no mention of sports of any kind because the main character is music driven. I guess this season I’ll just watch the NBA for the fun of it.

4. What changes do you think the Educational System needs to make in order the genuinely educate people?

Schools must address the real issues. They must “educate” students, instead of simply housing or babysitting students. They must diversify educational styles so that all children have an opportunity to be successful and they must find a way to recruit the best and the brightest to teach. Teaching must be elevated to an honorable vocation, not the “fall-back” occupation it has become.

5. In one of your blog entries, you mention that (to date) you’ve changed the title of your novel three times. In this particular case, what process has dictated the title evolution?

I began with “The Skinny”—named for the nightclub that is central to the story, then I had this idea to focus on the romantic aspect of the story by giving it the title “Turo’s Star” (Arturo & Starletta), and finally, as I reached the end of my first draft I thought I might be able to play up the female lead’s name (Starletta) by introducing the factual elements of astronomy to the story and the title “Supernova” was suggested. However, by the time I finished the third chapter of the rewrite I was back to “The Skinny” and that’s the title I’m sticking with. In my opinion it most represents the central themes of the story I’m trying to tell.

Visit Quincee’s blog, Blackberry Pearls, to read more about her life and work. Thank you, Quincee!


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