My Baby! My Baby!

Posted on | June 2, 2008

Sigh. I had this “great idea” for re-writing Honest Impulses as one of the Purpose Wars novels, the first one, in fact, and the novel was going along really well until I re-read the first draft.

There’s a phrase in writing called “kill your babies.” It means, figuratively, to double-check that your favorite scenes are actually serving the story and, if they aren’t, no matter how clever and wonderful they may seem, no matter how much you love them, delete them.

This is my baby from the rough draft of Honest Impulses. It has to make it into the re-write. I just don’t know how.

Misuko laughed. “So how’s your recruit?”

“Shandy?” Linia cast a glance to the table where the young woman sat, alone as usual, with a plate that was suspiciously light for a girl so healthy-looking. “She’s a great help. A good sense of texture and color, and she knows her spices like nobody else. She knows the difference between tandoori and tkunii. That is tandoori.”

Misuko eyed the bright red chicken with the eye of an archeologist. Linia said, “Although, you know, I think she has a crush on you. She asks me lots of questions about you: what you like to eat, what you like to wear, how you learned to do what you do. She asks me almost as many questions about you as she does about cooking.”

Misuko’s eyes twinkled with a look Linia had rarely seen, a mischeiviousness emphasized by the way her cheekbones lifted with her smile. “She doesn’t have a crush on me, Linia.” She turned around. “Hey, Sam? Got a moment?”

“To share your air, Misuko, I always have a moment.”

“Turn it down, Sam,” Misuko said. “If you had to say that Shandy Oxenhollar had a crush on someone, who would that someone be?”

Sam glanced at Linia. “She doesn’t see it?”

“You’re not serious!” Linia said.

Misuko reached across the table to take Linia’s hand. “Think about it, Linia. Right now, on this part of the trip, what are the two focusses of your life? Cooking, and me. I know, the other way around. But you understand what I mean, don’t you? What does Shandy want to talk about with you? The things that interest you. She’s not trying to get into my head, Linia, she’s trying to get into yours.”

Comments

2 Responses to “My Baby! My Baby!”

  1. Anthony
    June 3rd, 2008 @ 1:33 pm

    Well… stand the problem on its head. You can keep it if you re-write the rest of the story so that this scene becomes necessary.

    Might not make for a better story, but you get to keep the scene. Or perhaps use the scene in another story, elsewhere?

  2. Elf Sternberg
    June 11th, 2008 @ 9:00 am

    I’m hoping so. It’s a nice scene but I’m not sure where I could wedge it in. I’ll keep it, but it probably won’t go into Honest Impulses.

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