There She Is

May 24th, 2006 · 1 Comment
by Booksquare

Over in LBC-land, Yannick Murphy, author of Here They Come has taken the stage. Her first post delves into the process of writing and pruning a book — the choices an author must make for the story. And the regret an author feels when favorite moments must give way to the narrative flow.

She describes the goal she wanted to achieve before her editor entered the picture (darn editors!) and acknowledges the good and the bittersweet of making changes:

One of the things that I always find interesting about writing books is the editorial process that the book undergoes after the first draft is written – at first under my own hand, and then under an editor’s hand. When I first wrote “Here They Come” I jumped back and forth a lot between the seasons of the year (and I also jumped into the future and then explained events in the past and present, for example, in the very beginning the girl lets the reader know that the dog fell down the elevator shaft and died, then again, towards the end of the book she brings up the scene again, only telling it a slightly different way, with different details). I think for a while it worked in the book, I think it was in keeping with the narrator’s random way of thinking, but when it came time for my editor to edit the book, he suggested I make the telling of the events more chronological. In a way I was sad to change the exact manner in which I had originally written the book, (for some reason I think there’s some magic that an original version contains that subsequent drafts can’t quite achieve), but then I decided that the book was probably confusing enough without me jumping back and forth between seasons and the time.

For those who have read the book, she then goes on to insert a scene that was eventually cut — a scene that explains Ma Mere, the narrator’s grandmother. It’s funny in a way to read this scene because it feels out of time with the voice of the book now. Possibly had it been left in the story, it would have felt more natural. Funny how choices change the tenor of a story, no?

Yannick Murphy will be posting all day and answering questions. Now is your chance!

File Under: Books/Mags/Blogs

1 response so far ↓

  • Khalil A. // May 24, 2006 at 10:34 pm

    (for some reason I think there’s some magic that an original version contains that subsequent drafts can’t quite achieve)

    I totally, completely and entirely agree on this point. The first draft always has something quite magical: something which comes straight from the heart.