Thesis and a toast
I just put the finishing touches on my thesis novel, and it’s ready to go out to my thesis committee members for final approval. Someday I’ll write about this little story that won’t die and what it’s meant to me to have worked on it for the past fifteen years, but right now, I’m tired. So instead, here’s an awful sentence I cut from the last draft:
In the yellow candlelight, my grandfather’s face was old, but peaceful as the gentle wind over the rooftops.
I caught this while reading the penultimate draft aloud to a friend, and we couldn’t get through it without laughing, because oh my god, gentle wind over the rooftops? This is sixteen-year-old me trying really hard to be poetic. That was the last pure high school sentence in the whole novel. Everything else has been either cut or reworked so heavily that I can’t tell what’s old and new from the writing quality alone. And that, to me, is astonishing. So much material has been cast aside in the pursuit of finding the right words to tell this story that there’s not a single bit left that I can identify as part of the first draft.
Raise your glass if you’ve got one, because it’s time for a toast.
Here’s to everything that didn’t make the cut.