Ghosts of Hong Kong: Director’s Cut

I was so busy, back in March, that I forgot to spread the news about a long feature article of mine that was published that month: “Ghosts of Hong Kong”, in National Geographic Traveler. Consider the news spread.

It’s about a place very near and dear to my heart. As many of you know, Hong Kong’s been my adopted home these last 7 or so years, and I have been chronicling it (lately, alas, sporadically) in my other blog, Learning Cantonese.

Looking at the article today, I remembered it was cut and rearranged in the editing process. Like all high-strung creative ego types (ahem), I am never happy when that happens, but over many years of writing professionally I’ve gotten tough-skinned about the business of magazine journalism: it’s a collaborative enterprise, after all, and sometimes you gotta just breathe and let go.

But today, a friend asked to see my original version, and after I emailed it to her, it occurred to me: why not do what all the famous directors do on their “Special Edition” DVDs? So I decided to put up my original Writer’s Cut here on the blog.

I know that some of you are also aspiring writers, and it might be interesting for you to see how an article moves from writing, through editing to final publication. And so, my unedited draft of “Ghosts of Hong Kong” follows. You can contrast, compare, decide whether you like the piece better as it was edited or in the “unplugged” original.

(Administrative note: I had to turn off the comments section in this blog, unfortunately. The spam is just too much for me to keep up with. Hopefully I will figure out a way to get around this, but for the time being you can keep in touch by joining (liking) my Facebook page–the link’s over there in the left hand sidebar and it will take you straight there.)

The original Ghosts of Hong Kong is here. Have fun reading!