Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Styles: Editing

This is a man's world.

Last night Emily and Anne got a lot of time "backstage" to go over their lines. The third "big chunk" (as Andrew used to say) features a lot of Poirot and Hastings comparing notes and chasing red herrings.

I am very pleased with how swiftly this company is whipping through complicated blocking, with a great deal of patience, thoughtfulness, and good humor.Several times an evening someone will bring up a line that doesn't makes sense, or is not clear, or sounds just wrong. And either I need to clarify what I meant, change a word or two to make it clear -- or alter it altogether, because I really did screw up somewhere along the line, and it doesn't fit the facts.

For example, there is a passage in the book where Mary instructs Dorcas to get a glass of brandy for "her" and in my confusion in thought she meant to get it for the wrong person. I had added a proper noun to make it clearer, but only made it nonsense.

Styles is Christie's WWI novel, everything else she writes happens after. In spite of this being a tale told in the retiring English countryside, it is increasingly apparent what an impact the war had over absolutely everything. I believe this will be more obvious in production than even I had thought possible. Hastings appears by and large in uniform, not one but two major characters volunteer at hospital, everyone contributes to the effort in one way or another. And of course, the inevitable slide of this property from its high status into the boarding house it eventually becomes (but that is a tale for another time.)

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