Better Left Unsaid
This post was originally featured at Just Natalie as part of the TTC/MK VBT 2012.
In every book, some edits must occur. Some words must be struck from the page with prejudice. They must be smited righteously to tighten the prose and make that novel sing! *ahem* Sorry, I get carried away when I’m in the throes of editing — as I am today — and I just can’t help myself.
Anyway – its true. Snips happen. A word here, a paragraph there. Streamlining and refining.
In editing “Incandescence” I found that while sprinting during NaNoWriMo is excellent for word count and just getting the story out, sometimes it makes for redundancy. And redundancy is death to taut prose.
Mostly, fixing those repetitive bits just required little snips. Switching around so dialogue so characters don’t mention the same story twice or the like. I did not have to eighty-six anything major, and certainly nothing I loved.
But there was one large scene that had to be deleted and of course it was one I really enjoyed writing and wished I could have kept in. It was a very PG romance scene — not erotic, not exactly sexual — between one of the main characters (15 year-old Hannah) and a young man who has been pining for her since the moment they met (18-year-old Luke).
You see, Luke is a good guy with a bit of a possessive streak and a slight blind spot to how dire their circumstances are as survivors of ‘the end of the world’. He falls hard for the, admittedly, sort of weird, but spunky and funny (and magic!) redheaded teen. Patience is a virtue he possesses in great quantity, and even when he’s initially rebuffed romantically, Luke pursues her friendship.
And he wins it. They become close despite having grown-up in two very different environments and being a few years apart in age. But Luke is not alone in his affections for Hannah. The antagonist, Alexander, also wants Hannah, though his motivations are vastly different and somewhat nefarious.
The deleted scene, a tender first kiss and a little bit of background exposition, between Luke and Hannah just doesn’t belong. It did not make sense for the plucky magess who has been mentally tortmented for months and whose physical changes are making her withdraw from all the people around her, to suddenly being having a romantic exchange with her best friend.
So the kiss hit the cutting room floor and the hint of potential romance with it. By the end of “Incandescence”, it was obvious that there just wasn’t a place for that sort of scene in the book. Too many other things were happening in the race to the climactic scene and smooching just has to wait.
Ah! But there is hope for the burgeoning relationship in the sequel. If poor, traumatized Hannah can get herself together, there is a really great guy waiting to wrap her in his arms and love her through it. And if she can’t, well, time will tell if Luke’s the kind to pine away or move on. Options may be limited at the end of the world, but there are still other fish in the seas.
I hear great-great-granmama Torovaldi is single. *wink*
Love & Rainbows,