I’ve taken another 2500 words out of my novel – ten whole pages! I’ve had to do this for logistical reasons –the chapter concerned what happened in the Renate strand on the day war broke out. I’ve found out since I wrote it that the school had already moved to Minehead a few days before the war started. Many children were evacuated before war was confirmed.
I also realise there was perhaps too much detail in it anyway. However, I needed to write that detail. It helped me get to know the characters and in particular it helped me to examine Renate’s ambivalent feelings.
Sometimes what we write is just for us. Yet that writing still contributes. What we write and discard makes what is left stronger – not just because less is more though that is certainly true. The writing that we ultimately throw away is often part of our research.
I shall publish this as a “deleted scene” again. I also want to flag up that I think I had too much of Chamberlain in this extract. Naturally, I needed to revisit that speech.
I’m also going to post it on this blog shortly. Comments welcome.