Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Cutting scenes and edit 4


Edit 4 is really supposed to be about whether the timeline works. These days, I actually tend to address that at the planning stage. However, this time I was still looking for a sort of balance. Was each of the three story threads jogging along smoothly? Did they dovetail well?
As my writing progressed, I noticed, I’d been presenting small vignette-like scenes. Two chapters, however, stuck out as being much too long:
The one where Renate first goes to her new school.
The one where Hani attends her BDM inaugural ceremony.
For Renate, I’ve cut out all of the anticipation and the journey to school, and then some of the first interactions between her and her new class. For Hani, I’ve cut out her trying on her new uniform and some of the details of the ceremony. I’ve managed to retain these elements, however – I hope – by including short phrases elsewhere in the narrative.
These passages were well written and they did give useful information. But they didn’t fit with the overall tone of the book. As usual, also, they had been quite useful in allowing me to understand more about the story. They will have a purpose on the web site and this blog. They will give more information about the apprehension that Kinder felt about almost every aspect of life in England and about the content of a BDM inauguration. They will also reflect on that important part of a writer’s practice: killing off darlings.                

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