So I scanned the list of bloggers participating in this year’s WordCount Blogathon and thought Natasha Rogue’s Writing Blues looked interesting and was worth a visit. Turns out, she’s a writer of fiction, like me, and her day’s post was all about the stuff she’s left out of her writing — characters and scenes left on the cutting room floor. This intrigued me instantly, because I had just gone through my own paring down and streamlining for Baby Grand.
Natasha posted some of her deleted material. I find this to be quite brave, actually. I’m not sure I have the guts to do that. Once I have abandoned characters, scenes and even sentences, I try not to think much about them anymore. It’s kind of like breaking off an engagement — there are lingering feelings, but you know that the right thing to do is walk away. The thought of posting those things and contemplating them once again conjures up all those original feelings — “Oh, but that character was so cute!” or “I worked for two months on that scene!” Then I fear that readers of my blog will say, “But I like this character?” And then I will feel compelled to re-evaluate his or her deletion for reasons that are not my own.
I’ve always thought that those kinds of decisions needed to be mine — and mine alone. But Natasha Rogue’s got me thinking… Perhaps readers can find connections or solutions that I have missed. I remember sitting in a writers’ workshop last year at Hofstra, while I was pursuing my Master’s, and I had brought up a glitch in my plot that I wasn’t sure how to fix. One of my classmates, Joe, said, “Why don’t you just do such-and-such?” And it was like the sun had pierced through the cloud covering and everything was suddenly so bright and clear.
Maybe there’s something to be said for going ‘Rogue,’ after all.