Aimee Liu's New Blog Series: Out Takes
October 29, 2014Dear Friends,
I've been deep in a new novel for the past few years, hardly leaving the house much less blogging, but at the same time I've been missing the connection that my blog offers. So I'm taking the plunge again, launching a new blog series, called Out Takes.
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TAKE 1 IN A NEW BLOG SERIES FROM AIMEE LIU
Like most writers I know, I tend to edit out about half -- or more -- of the original material I compose, and many of those cuts are made reluctantly. Some cuts, of course, go deservedly straight to the trash bin, but others are sacrifices for the greater good of a piece that needs to be ever tighter, faster, more to the point, and more urgent. Tangents, characters, subplots, and extraneous scenes can all wind up on the chopping block. Some of these out-takes will get re-worked in the same piece or re-tooled for another. And some are like sketches in a painter's atelier, valuable and interesting in their own right as a reflection of one phase of the artistic process. Indeed, the idea for this blog series was suggested by my dear friend, the brilliant artist Carolyn Hall Young. "Why not share your sketches?" she asked. And it's true; I have the equivalent of many portfolios stuffed with what I call "salvage sections." Consider these as sketches of work in progress, or early takes of a film; every detail is subject to change -- and, it goes without saying,be VASTLY improved! -- in the final product. As we go along, I may also post some of the fascinating research that inspires me.
The first series of out-takes will come from a novel I've been working on for several years, set primarily in British India circa World War II. But it begins (in this out-take) in 1936 with the whirlwind courtship in New York City of a young American and aspiring anthropologist named Thea March and an only slightly older British doctor named Sheppard Durrell.
Their courtship began in May, 1936, with a chance introduction at the 21 Club. Thea March, Sheppard Durrell. The student and the surgeon. Thea's first impressions: a boyish mop of gingery hair, devastating sea-glass green eyes, a veil of freckles stretched palely across patrician cheekbones to bridge a delicate nose. He had lanky height, square shoulders, and that worldly British accent, plus a twist of humor tucked inside his smile that promised to keep her hopping. Love at first sight? Not by a yard, but he'd make for a welcome shift from the braggards and drones that had dominated her campus years.
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