Apparently, baking chocolate chip cookies occupied my mind last night instead of writing this post. LOL Well, to be fair, I’ve been thinking about those cookies for days now, and, even though my constant discussion of deleted scenes is what prompted this post, the thought of chocolate, sugar, and butter got the better of me. Add in the fact my teen salivated when I mentioned them, and I was doomed. Doomed, I say! LOL Yes, they were delicious—nearly as delicious as some of my deleted scenes. Okay, let’s be honest, what’s more delicious than chocolate? LOL
When I first started writing, scenes that didn’t make it into a story often ended up truly deleted. Some were truly horrible, others were just meh, and still others were really good but trapped my characters in a corner. Then there are the ones that deserve to be in the story, but due to word constraints, were cut. This is what has happened with my latest story Asta and the She Wolves, a sweet shifter romance I wrote for the soon-to-be (pre-order July 30) released anthology Flip the Trop: Romance Gone Wild or The Books Publishers Don’t Want You to Read. (Think the opposite of Hallmark movies, but all happy endings because…romance! Yay!) I’m one of eleven fabulous authors in this anthology, so keep your eyes peeled and your finger ready for that “buy now” click. (grin)
Most stories end up with maybe one or two scenes cut. This one, there were at least three. One will go back in because I will be expanding the story a bit. (At one time, I wrote shorter works, around 15,000 to 25,000 word stories. Now, my muse thinks in epic terms. However, Asta might be around 30,000 when I’m done. That’s the plan, but…we’ll see.) These scenes do add to the story, filling in some back story, showing the relationship between the characters, but they weren’t entirely necessary. And, when you’re closing in on the climax, which deserves at least 1,000 words (or more), some things have to be cut. This particular scene had to be cut. While I liked it, Asta falling asleep ended the evening in a way I didn’t want to have happen and stopped the forward motion of the story. Luckily, my muse recognized this, too. Negotiations were easy this time around. (grin) They aren’t always so…painless. LOL
A soft, warm weight pressed against his side. He looked down. Asta’s head rested against his shoulder. Long, dark lashes fanned across her cheeks. He slipped his arm lower until it lay across her shoulders. A sigh escaped her lips, and she murmured something unintelligible and snuggled closer, her phone still clutched in her hand.
“Uh-oh, we have the Asta pumpkin,” Trina said, looking around at the others.
“Oh, we forgot about this, Luke.” Ingrid’s gaze met his. “It’s been a long time since she’s gone out with us. She won’t wake up until morning.”
“How will she get to your room?” he asked.
“We’ll get her up there. It’s kind of like leading an inebriated friend. She won’t remember anything after she fell asleep.” Ingrid sent him a rueful smile. “We had such hopes . . .”
Moving on to a different story, Last Chance is a romantic suspense that will be released in September. I wrote a shortened version of it in 1999, pulled it down a few years ago, and expanded it from 15,000 words to over 50,000. In this scene, we meet Susan, Max, and Susan’s psycho ex Don. Susan had escaped Don, created a new life, only to have him track her down. This category novel is her journey from victim of abuse to empowerment. It’s a little gritty with splashes of humor that prevent it from being as dark as it could be.
The negotiations for this scene one took a little more finesse, but, ultimately, my muse agreed that this scene wasn’t going to work in the novel. We moved the confrontation to another location where it worked much better.
“Look at you,” a voice snarled from the darkness, “claiming to be better than me, but no sooner do I turn my back, you’re cozying up to Dudley Do-right over here.”
The hair on Susan’s neck stood on end. She fumbled with her phone and pressed the emergency button. The phone rang, and an operator picked up.
Max spun, placing himself between her and her ex.
“Fresno Police Department. What’s your emergency?”
“Hello, this is—”
“If you don’t turn that phone off,” Don stepped out from the shadows a gun in his hand, “I’ll shoot your boyfriend.”
“He’s not my boyfriend. We’re friends. You don’t need to shoot him, Don.” She said this loud enough for the dispatcher to hear.
He laughed. The sound made her skin crawl. “Sure. Turn the phone off, bitch.”
She raised it so he could see what she was doing and pressed the off button. “It’s done.”
“Move away from your boyfriend.
“No, he will shoot you to get to me. Please . . .”
She pushed past him, putting herself between Don and Max.
The original story was short, fun, and full of technical errors. Needless to say, this one has been cleaned up. (Smile)
I’m not sure why I’m keeping some of these scenes anymore. I mean, at least for Last Chance, those deletions I have will never find their way into another story. It’s not like they take up a lot of room on my hard drive, but I can’t seem to press that delete button. At least, if I’m going to be a pack rat, it’s virtual, right? LOL