I’ve decided to cut…

I've decided to cut those three stories I was waffling on from the manuscript. They just weren't that good -- I was including them originally because they were about people in that family, and because I wanted bulk, to feel like I'd accomplished something. But I think this will be plenty long enough. So I'm good with cutting them, but now I'm wondering about balance, because even if I cut "Challah" too, I only have 7 stories in the first section, and 9 in the second. One solution might be to take "Seven Cups of Water" and "Sister Mary" and give them their own little section, a sort of hinge between the other two parts. Another would be to write more stories in the first section. But I'm not sure which characters to write about, if I do that. (And oh, heck, I just realized that "Minal in Winter" might need to be in the second set -- I'm not even sure why I put it in the first set originally, given that it's about Raji's niece...I'm so confused). There's Savitha and Chaya, then their mother Lakshmi, then Lakshmi's sister, Leilani, then their parents, Arvind and Samiksha. (I could do a Raksha story here, but it works much better to do it in the other branch). Three generations -- hmm...somehow, I think I have four in the other branch, but the last generation there might be babies, so that doesn't really count. Well, I'm not going to worry about it too much until I finish revising these stories, but it's something to keep in mind.

I know, I'm getting obsessive about this. Just wait. I'm going to get much, much more obsessive in the months to come.

4 thoughts on “I’ve decided to cut…”

  1. Okay, I looked at the family tree for that branch of the family, which helped. Of course the story I should write is one with Shefali, and probably another with one or both of Shefali’s parents (Latika (Lakshmi’s sister) and Arjun). Chronologically, the’d probably end up coming between “Bodies of Water” and “Lakshmi’s Diary”, but maybe it’s better to have a bit of a pause between that little mystery and the mystery’s solution. Of course, I don’t know *anything* about Shefali’s parents, and I’m not sure what story I should write about Shefali (I could rewrite “Challah”, but that story has given me so much grief, and I want to make it a novel anyway) — but hey, those are problems for another day. Today, I’m just structuring and revising. 🙂

  2. So the most recent draft of the TOC looks like this:

    Part One – The Immigrants

    * Savitha
    * Bodies in Motion
    Shefali’s Story (unwritten)
    * Lakshmi’s Diary
    Latika and/or Arjun’s Story (unwritten)
    * Pieces of the Heart
    * Colombo, Oxford, Boston, Chicago
    * The Princess in the Forest

    Part Two – The Beginning

    Seven Cups of Water
    * Sister Mary

    Part Three – The Return

    Raksha’s Story (unwritten)
    A Gentle Man
    * The Emigrant
    Ashok’s Story (unwritten)
    Vincent’s Story (unwritten)
    Tightness in the Chest
    * Challah
    Minal in Winter

    Part Four – Across the Water

    Monsoon Day

    Genealogy (for reference — contains spoilers)

  3. If you’re talking general ’70’s feel, think about “That 70’s Show”, I know it’s a hokey sitcom, but it’s true to the pop-culture of the time.

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