This week, my editor finished critiquing my manuscript, Jane the Quene. As I read through her comments, I noticed that there were several passages she suggested I cut because they slowed the pacing…all backstory details that don’t need to be there but that give a fuller picture of the people and the times. Let me say, I agree with the pacing argument – but some of these morsels seem essential to slip in elsewhere (in a way that is less distracting than I was apparently being). Of course, I realize I may be wrong about how important this information would be to other Tudor fans – so will you please help me out? Let me know which of these snippets would be most significant (or least significant) to you and I’ll figure out a way to make them work somewhere else (or cut them with fewer qualms). And thank you!
- Perhaps as an outgrowth of his fear of death and disease, Henry was fascinated with herbs. He made his own remedies, both for himself and for friends, and even took his tools on progress with him. (I have to say, this is the one I care about most – I already know where it would really work).
- Edward Seymour’s father seduced Edward’s first wife – then went slightly mad from guilt.
- Henry’s boyhood household included Nicholas Carew, Charles Brandon, William Compton…and Henry Norris.
- Even Sir Thomas More had recognized that vice existed in the monasteries and advocated that some houses be closed. (This is the one most likely to be simply cut, except that I love the background that prompted More’s condemnation: a prior of a religious house had hired a band of cutthroats to commit murder for him, then as a nod to his position, he made them pray with him in his cell before they left to do the deed).