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Aberjhani

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Member Since: Dec, 2004

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Blogs by Aberjhani

Introducing Uncut Goodies
11/13/2007 2:17:43 PM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]

Notes from the editor's lounge.

Some Hollywood directors are famous for the “ruthless” manner in which they cut precious scenes from a given film, and many music producers have similar reputations for what they will or will not allow on a final recording project. What both have in common is the wisdom to save their deleted jewels and present them within a context or package––think “Director’s Cut” or “Extended Song Versions”––separate from the star project and yet completely viable in its own right. Editors and writers do something similar and my "Uncut Goodies" series falls in the tradition of salvaging lost scenes from the cutting room floor.

To cut or not to cut a given word or passage from a manuscript has long been one of the battles that sometimes divided brilliant editors and just as brilliant writers. It might surprise many readers to learn the issue is not always one regarding semantics, syntax, or ego. Often it has been about the number of dollars (or pounds or yen or marks) it took produce a book of––say 300 pages versus 1,400 pages.

I didn’t think my new book "Christmas When Music Almost Killed the World" needed to lose any weight when one of the early editors for a proposed publisher requested I drop an agonizing number of words. I nevertheless acquiesced in the spirit of combining expertise, exercised admirable editorial tough love toward myself, and got the novel down to its current sleek yet voluptuous figure. I had to admit that doing so made the book, which by its nature is not your typical linear structured novel, a tighter faster-moving read. Yet I also had to mourn the loss of huge chunks. Some of those chunks might hold certain keys for some readers. Other readers might disagree but still enjoy the backdrop provided by "Uncut Goodies," which in fact include the original first two chapters.

To make them easier to keep up with, each segment of the series will be titled "Uncut Goodies" Part 1 or 2 or 3 or whatever it happens to be. They can make an entertaining supplement to the novel or a very enjoyable read on their own. The first post goes up tomorrow, November 14. Hope you like it.

Aberjhani




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