Manuscript to Book

I’ve heard of authors who write a single draft. That’s not me.

What you see on the printed page is the best, final version. But that’s not to say that the parts that were cast aside weren’t without merit.  Sometimes, you have to rewrite a perfectly working chapter for the good of the book, which was the case for the two following examples.

The second chapter (“In Sook Kim”) is from the point of view of Noona, but that wasn’t always so.  And initially, the fourth chapter (“Mr. Hong”) had very little to do with the eponymous character but rather one of Sue’s friends, someone who only tangentially appears later in the book.  The problem was, both of these chapters pushed the reader farther away from the Kim family.  So they had to be sacrified.  Believe me, it wasn’t easy letting them go, but it was the right choice.

The Pagoda Music Box (replaced by the chapter In Sook Kim)
Portraits (replaced by the chapter Mr. Hong)

In the first draft of the novel, there was a chapter that had to do with an alien kidnapping.  That’s probably all that needs to be said about that one.

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